Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Velayati: Iran should keep its nuclear achievements at any price

Description of Selected News: "Velayati: Iran should keep its nuclear achievements at any price

Tehran (IRNA) -- Presidential election hopeful Ali Akbar Velayati stressed here Tuesday that Iran should keep its nuclear achievements at any price.

He made the remarks in a press gathering in IRNA headquarters on his programs for the upcoming presidential election which was attended by IRNA officials and correspondents.

He approved of Iran's policies and tactics in nuclear negotiations and said Tehran should safeguard its nuclear technology and also continue its policy of cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) while going on with negotiations with European countries.

He dismissed the remarks of some people who believe that Iran might gain new things in case it forsakes its nuclear achievements and stressed that nothing could ever compensate for the loss.

Touching upon the issue of human rights, the former foreign minister pointed to the fact that Iran and western countries looked at the topic from two quite different perspectives which were rooted in each side's traditions and beliefs and stressed that Iran would never surrender to pressures to admit their views.

Saying that different societies judged the issue according to their beliefs, traditions and ideals, he said that Iran relied on religious teachings in dealing with many issues introduced as human rights topics by the west and even in many cases joined forces with Vatican against secular demands particularly in cases pertaining to family values.

He stressed that the issue of human rights is presently manipulated by the U.S. as a means of pressing other countries which do not approve of American views and values.

The Advisor to the Supreme Leader for International Affairs wondered why the countries that were providing military bases and financial support for the U.S. while lacking any form of democratic structure were not referred to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

Velayati further referred to promoting regional cooperation, expanding ties with neighboring countries, following up the policy to eliminate any kind of tensions with neighboring states as well as with other world countries which will bring economic flourishes to the country as his foreign policy priorities as president.

He also pointed out that he would embark on strengthening ties with developed and progressive countries which could provide up-date technologies to Iran while reinforcing relations with third world countries as his other foreign policy priorities.

Velayati: Next president should be brave enough to grapple with int'l issues

Presidential hopeful Velayati said that the next president should be brave enough to grapple with complex issues confronting the world.

Asked what he believes were the qualities that would make a good president, Velayati said that the country's next president should be a man of experience, open to innovation and with a good knowledge of the workings of the contemporary world.

Asked how the youth would be motivated to become a force in the upcoming presidential poll, Velayati said that the country's youth are the hope of the future and should rightly be listened to in any government.

He said that any candidate should be aware that the country's youth have a great potential, adding that one of his priorities would be to map out plans and programs that will enable them to materialize and enhance their potentials.

Velayatai, who served as Iran's foreign minister for more than a decade, pointed to the need to establish new higher education centers, institutes or universities in the country tailored to meet the changing needs of society, particularly the youth.

He said unemployment was one of the most serious problems confronting Iranian society, and expressed regret that the burden of unemployment fell heavily on the youth.

Velayati, underlining his priority of giving the country's youth the break that they have long been clamoring for, said he would open up dialogues with them and listen to their views and ideals which, he said, he would crystallize into government policy if elected.

Velayati: I will focus on economic development, promoting social justice in my programs as president

Velayati said that as president he will focus on economic development as well as promoting social justice in his programs.

The former foreign minister stressed that he believed that both economic and political development programs should be carried out in parallel because he thought neither of these two pivotal elements could be successfully materialized in the absence of the other.

Pointing out that all-out progress of the country was the true will of the both nation and government which were inspired by the Islamic nature of the system in Iran, he said that he will adhere to improving economic conditions as well as promoting social justice as the most urgent priorities in his programs.

Saying that any government coming to office will have to act according to the society's needs and people's demands, Velayati further said that he would try to lead the country out of the present economically sterile situation and also to reduce the inflation rate which has kept rising in the past years.

He also noted that he will build his economic programs on the principles proposed in the 20-year prospect for the country which focuses on growth and development plans.

He said he basically did not believe in any dispute between advocates of political development with those who support economic development because one-sided views would even have negative effects on the country's affairs.

He believed the political aspirations would fail to be materialized if economic demands of people and their daily life affairs are ignored.

Velayati also noted that at the present juncture where the fundamentalists have failed to introduce an identical presidential nominee, he is free to act according to his own sound decision and run in the elections as an independent candidate."