Khatami, if elected, could help relax some of the global pressure on Iran, since he is known as a reformist. The Financial Times noted that
But policy makers and political commentators should not be duped. Iran's president doesn't control the nuclear program; its Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, does. So, no matter the result of the upcoming presidential election, neither candidate is in control of the nuclear program's fate. It will, if recent history is any guide, continue on its course, unless the West ratchets up pressure and sanctions. Only then would Khamenei -- not Khatami or Ahmadinejad -- have to reconsider.
While [Khatami and Ahmadinejad] are equally attached to the country’s nuclear programme, which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes, [the reformists] insist they could address western concerns over it more successfully.