Saturday, January 08, 2005

Velayati calls for close ranks with Rafsanjani

Iran Mania News: "Velayati calls for close ranks with Rafsanjani

Saturday, January 08, 2005 - ©2004

LONDON, Jan 8 (IranMania) - Leader's advisor for international affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati, called on fundamentalists to remain close to influential politician, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, whose likely candidacy in the next presidential elections is a hot topic of debate.

"Fundamentalists should not disengage their policies and stances from those of Rafsanjani and never remain detached from him," IRNA quoted Velayati as saying during a gathering of clerics and provincial officials on Friday.

He added that Rafsanjani commands respect for his services to the revolution and the Islamic Republic system, adding that members of the fundamentalist faction are critical of recent disrespectful remarks about him.

As to his own candidacy, the well-known rightist said he has "entered the (presidential) race as an obligation".

"Truly, I am not eager to take on the responsibility," he said, adding that if that were to happen, it would be only to "please God".

Insisting that his words and deeds have always been in conformity, Velayati said the people will certainly choose the person they deem fit to guide the country.

"Whatever the outcome, I would not evade my main duty which is to serve the people," he said.