Friday, December 17, 2004

Conservatives hold first official presidential campaign gathering

Description of Selected News: "Conservatives hold first official presidential campaign gathering

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) –- The conservatives held their first official presidential campaign gathering yesterday in Tehran.

During the session, former Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) director Ali Larijani, ex-foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaie, and leading MP Ahmad Tavakoli expressed their views and future plans for the government as potential conservative candidates for the upcoming presidential election.

Tehran mayor Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad, the fifth nominee, sent a letter excusing himself from the gathering.

The five officials are the conservative faction’s main candidates for the next presidential election.

The Coordination Council of the Islamic Revolution Forces Committee (IRFC), which organized the gathering that was entitled “A New Step”, has announced that it intends to reach a consensus on a single presidential candidate.

Upholding social justice essential for successful government: Larijani

Former TV director Larijani said Friday that establishing social justice is essential for a successful government.

The Islamic Revolution wisely intends to create a calm atmosphere at home and promote peace in the international arena, Larijani said.

“We support dialogue with dignity,” the Supreme Leader’s representative in the Supreme National Security Council asserted.

Praising the unity of revolutionary people, he stressed that the conservative camp has gained courage and wisdom and has succeeded to win the people’s confidence.

Larijani said that he feels no competitiveness with the other conservative nominees.

The next presidential elections will be held in May or June next year.

“What is important is that a group of wise people select a candidate based on their policies and that it’s our religious duty to support the preferred nominee,” he stated.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Larijani said that economic policies should tend to boost domestic production, adding that the economy should not be dependant on oil.

Achieving 20-year prospects not possible without serious efforts: ex-FM

Velayati, an advisor to Supreme Leader on foreign policy and international affairs, said that Iran will only be able to achieve its 20-year plan prospects and the number one position in the Middle East through a serious movement by the government.

Velayati referred to his plans for the future government as well as the impact of his past records as foreign minister.

“In view of those measures, the message of the Islamic Revolution of Iran led to the awakening of Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan and this is why the U.S. has directed its accusations against us,” he went on to say.

Elsewhere in his remarks Velayati called for economic development to achieve progress and social justice in the country.

He added that one of the main priorities of the next government is to modify the labor law with the purpose of job security with a coordination of the parliament.

The advisor stressed that he would support any of the 4 or 5 presidential nominees that the committee would decide to field in the next presidential elections scheduled for early spring.

Fighting economic corruption should be top priority of next government: presidential hopeful

Leading MP Ahmad Tavakoli said that intense campaign against economic corruption should be the top priority of the next government.

Tavakoli said four years has passed since the Leader of the Islamic Revolution called for fight against economic corruption but nothing has been done so far in this regard.

The presidential hopeful said currently the public confidence to the government has been reduced and if this trend continues the opportunities will be lost and the threats will become serious.

Tavakoli lost to reformist President Mohammad Khatami in the 2001 presidential election.

Tehran mayor wishes for prosperous and powerful Iran

Tehran mayor Ahmadi-Nejad said in a letter sent to the gathering that he wishes for a prosperous and powerful Iran.

In his letter Ahmadi-Nejad has said that since six months is left to the presidential election and as a mayor he plans to do great projects in Tehran, he is worried that an early involvement in the presidential campaign will bar him from serving the people of Tehran.

Presidential hopeful stresses need to implement 20-year Outlook Plan

The secretary of the Expediency Council and former commander of the Islamic Republic Guards Corps (IRGC) stressed that Iran should become the region’s first power in terms of economy and information technology in the next 20 years.

The EC official said the new government faces great challenges and opportunities.

Rezaie said the U.S. Greater Middle East initiative, which has targeted Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Palestine, has made the condition very sensitive for the next four years.

However, the presidential candidate said the there are unprecedented opportunities ahead which the next president should take them into consideration.

The government can torpedo plots such as the Greater Middle East initiative by moving in direction of implementing the 20-year outlook plan, the presidential hopeful noted.

Rezaie expressed hope that the conservatives’ biggest electoral gathering would help unite what he called the “big family” of the Islamic Revolution who plans to materialize the ideals of the late Imam Khomeini. -------Next administration should be in harmony with other branches of govt.: Majlis speaker

Majlis speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel told the gathering that the next administration should be in harmony with other branches of government.

Haddad Adel stressed that the seventh Majlis has focused its attention on establishing tranquility in the society and doing services to the people.

“An efficient parliament requires the next government to be in harmony with other powers in the country so that all forces can unite to serve the Islamic system,” he stated.

IRFC favors qualified and popular presidential hopeful: ex-speaker

Former Majlis speaker Ali Akbar Nateq Nuri said also told the seminar that the right-wing faction attach great importance to efficiency and social justice in the next presidential election.

Nateq Nuri said the committee only insists on justice, and pluralism and reaching a consensus on a single candidate for the presidential election.

He added that a qualified and charismatic candidate has preference over a qualified but less charismatic presidential hopeful."