Saturday, February 05, 2005

Larijani will propose Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadi -Nejad as first VP

Description of Selected News: "New developments in runup to presidential election

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- Hassan Rowhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), said here on Saturday that politicians and other Iranian citizens are waiting for the final decision of Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani about running in the next presidential election.

“At the end of the day, the decision to participate or not will be made by Mr. Rafsanjani himself. No one can be his spokesman on the matter, and he will announce his position as soon as he reaches a final conclusion. But the politicians as well as many of the people await his final decision,” Rowhani told the Mehr News Agency.

In reference to the Guardian Council’s task of approving the qualifications of presidential candidates, he noted that if there were fewer disqualifications it would benefit national security.

“We rather prefer a charitable attitude in this regard, unless the candidates happen to be unrighteous or really unsuitable for the post,” the SNCS secretary said.

Commenting on his trips to Gilan and Kermanshah provinces where he met with members of the Moderation and Development Party, Rowhani stated that he would hold similar meetings with any other party or group if invited.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rowhani noted that the conservatives and the Coalition for Development are not different groups but generally form one council with a number of political currents.

He said that the Coordination Council for the Islamic Revolution Forces Committee (CCIRFC) has faced some troubles with its proposed nominees, who have expressed their opinions in various speeches, adding that the council has not yet succeeded in reaching a consensus on a single candidate.

No one can speak for the conservatives, and the various comments made by MPs only indicate their personal views and not that of the conservative party, Rowhani pointed out, adding that the decisions of the CCIRFC are not based on the views of the seventh Majlis.

Referring to some conservative MPs’ opposition to his candidacy, the SNSC secretary said, “I respect their personal views, but will participate in the election if I reach the conclusion that I should.

“The decisions of political groups and parties are naturally based on their viewpoints, strategies, and interests. Basically, anyone who wants to decide about becoming a candidate should also consider the views of various parties,” he said in conclusion.

Yadollah Tahernejad, a member of the central council of the Servants of Construction Party (SCP), said on Saturday that the SCP has established the Ninth Coalition for a Better Future to conduct its electoral activities. Tahernejad stated that the coalition has not discussed any alternative presidential candidate other than Rafsanjani “since it was originally established only for the purpose of supporting him in the presidential race.”

Meanwhile, the secretary of the Assembly of Researchers and Teachers of the Qom Seminary, Ayatollah Hossein Musavi Tabrizi, announced on Saturday that the group has not yet reached a conclusion on the candidacies of former Majlis speaker Mahdi Karrubi and ex-science minister Mostafa Moin.

He said that having a variety of candidates would boost voter turnout, adding that the people should be assured that their votes would have an effect in order to prevent public dissatisfaction.

Musavi Tabrizi noted that the assembly would discuss the Rafsanjani candidacy only when it became certain.

Jalal Jalalizadeh, a member of the central council of the Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP), also announced on Saturday that the IIPP’s final decision on a nominee for first vice president, with Moin as presidential candidate, is former Majlis vice-speaker and incumbent IIPP secretary general Mohammad Reza Khatami.

“With the introduction of Khatami as the group’s candidate for first vice president, the IIPP has actually made its final decision about the election, and the participation of any other person will not have the slightest influence on our policies,” Jalalizadeh said.

In the conservative camp, former IRIB director Ali Larijani, who reports suggest is likely to become the conservative presidential candidate, recently described what his cabinet would do.

An informed source close to the conservative camp has announced that Larijani will probably propose Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadi -Nejad as a nominee for first vice president, the Tehran daily Iran reported."