Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Reformists Mostafa Moin and Vice President Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh Enter Race

Iran Mania News: "Two reformists step into Iran's presidential race

Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com

LONDON, Dec 29 (IranMania) - Two Iranian reformist politicians have declared their intention to stand in next May's presidential elections, joining a widening field of conservative candidates, press reports said Wednesday.

According to the reports, Iran's former Higher Education Minister Mostafa Moin has been nominated as the candidate of the Islamic republic's main reform party, the Participation Front (IIPF), while incumbent Vice President Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh has also stepped in.

The IIPF has become increasingly isolated after most of its candidates were barred from contesting the February 2004 parliament elections on the grounds of questionable loyalty to the regime, according to AFP.

Candidates for the presidential election, scheduled to take place in May 2005, are also subject to the approval of the Guardians Council, a hardline-controlled political oversight body.

Moin quit the cabinet of President Mohammad Khatami in 2003 over frustration with the Guardians Council. Khatami has served two consecutive terms as president and is barred by the constitution from standing again.

As for Mehr-Alizadeh, he was quoted as saying he would pull out of the forthcoming presidential election if the diverse reformist camp managed to rally around a single candidate, AFP added.

According to AFP, another potential reformist candidate, former parliament speaker Mehdi Karoubi, has yet to state whether he will stand.

However several prominent conservative politicians have already entered the race.

Long-serving Former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, now a top advisor to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has stated he intends to stand for president, as has Mohsen Rezai, a former head of the Revolutionary Guards.

Iranian influential Former Ppresident Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has also been openly mulling a comeback as president but has yet to declare his intentions"