Friday, March 18, 2005

Iran Daily - Rafsanjani Ready for Comeback

Iran Daily: "Rafsanjani Ready for Comeback

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

TEHRAN, March 14--Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani announced on Monday he was “completely ready“ to participate in the June 17 election, putting months of procrastination behind him.
But the official, who is the chairman of the arbitrative State Expediency Council, left the door open for untoward occurrences like February 2000 when he pulled out of the parliamentary race at the eleventh hour, which saw reformists rise to prominence, IRNA reported.
“I have complete readiness for candidacy in the elections, but I believe it is early to make a decision,“ he told a gathering at the inauguration of the Iran Student Correspondence Association News Agency.
“It is likely that we witness the emergence of individuals with an acceptable future plan; otherwise, it will be my turn (to run for presidency). If this responsibility befalls me and I feel that the situation and the people require me, I will not reject it,“ he said.
Rafsanjani had said on Sunday he feels more pressed by the call of duty to make a comeback in the June 17 election.
“As we are getting closer to the election, I feel my responsibility is getting heavier,“ he told managing directors and chief editors of the press from across the country.
“If a capable and popular person is found among the candidates, then so much the better. But if such an individual does not surface, I will surely come back,“ he said.
Rafsanjani, however, stated that he has not yet reached a conclusion to return."