Saturday, April 16, 2005

Moin Takes Reformisty Money, Claims Gains

Description of Selected News: "Moin’s popularity increasing: IIPP official

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- Elaheh Koolaee, the spokeswoman of presidential candidate Mostafa Moin and the deputy secretary general of the Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP), elaborated on his political positions in an interview with the Mehr News Agency on Tuesday. Following is the text of the interview: Q: Dr. Moin has always said that he is an independent candidate and that he would employ talented people in his campaign. So, why he has chosen a spokeswoman who is affiliated to the reformists?

A: Dr. Moin in an independent candidate, but at the same time is the first candidate in Iran who has run for president with the supported of a systematized organization. In fact, the (Islamic Iran) Participation Party is one of the two groups supporting Dr. Moin and is the largest and most organized political group in Iran and conducts all its activities in a modern way.

Dr. Moin is an independent candidate, because he is not a member of any political party, but this has nothing to do with his tendency to make use of the experiences of parties.

Q: Elaborate a bit on the collaboration between the Islamic Iran Participation Party and the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization (IRMO). After the announcement of the names of the leaders of Moin’s election headquarters, who were all members of the IIPP, rumors arose about the relationship between the two organizations. For instance, it was said that as the older brother of the IIPP, IRMO guided the Participation Party and that is why none of its members have been given high-ranking posts in the campaign headquarters. It was also said that IRMO uses the IIPP to announce its participation in elections, while it is determined to field its own candidate, and that IRMO is encouraging Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to run. What is your opinion about the relationship between the IIPP and IRMO in Dr. Moin’s election headquarters?

A: The members of both parties are actively working in Dr. Moin’s election headquarters and exchange experiences to lead reform programs. Q: As for Dr. Moin’s popularity, he is regarded as one of the most unknown candidates. Why has the IIPP selected an unknown candidate?

A: Dr. Moin has represented Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz in the Majlis in three different periods, and he has also been the minister of higher education twice. So can one call such a candidate an unknown? In addition, Dr. Moin’s popularity is increasing faster than the other candidates. Q: Mohammad Reza Khatami has said that if the competency of Dr. Moin is rejected, the IIPP would not participate in the presidential election and the party would not support any other candidate. What is your view on this?

A: I do not believe the competency of a known figure, who has been a minister and also a people’s representative in the Majlis over the past 26 years, would be rejected. That would actually question the previous years, and I do not think that any organization in the country intends to do such a thing. Q: What would the IIPP’s reaction be if Dr. Moin is rejected for any reason?

A: Every party fields its own favored candidate for elections. The IIPP refrained from fielding its secretary general due to certain considerations in the seventh Majlis elections. So, any kind of measure to exclude Dr. Moin would deprive the IIPP of the chance to play an active role in the presidential election. Q: If, just like the parliamentary elections for the seventh Majlis, the IIPP announces that it will not participate in the presidential election, isn’t it possible that the enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran could take advantage of such a reaction at this critical juncture?

A: We are living in a world in which holding a free and fair election is considered a principle among countries. And as the Islamic Republic of Iran, we are expected to be the model of the world for holding a fair and free election. So, I believe that discussion of such matters would not be in line with the country’s interests and would be quite harmful for us. Q: Dr. Moin is opposed to banning daily newspapers and imprisoning politicians, but has announced that his most serious reaction to such incidents would be to inform the public about the case in point or finally to resign. So, do you believe that such a man would be able to handle crises?

A: Considering the current domestic and international situation, do you believe that I would support him if I didn’t have such a belief about him? I do believe that by relying on his experience and knowledge as well as the team that is working with him, he will be able to deal with crises quite efficiently. Q: Who is financially supporting Dr. Moin’s campaign?

A: Those people who are interested in reforms and reformist programs financially support Dr. Moin. Q: Who is Dr. Moin’s main election rival?

A: Considering the current positions of the presidential candidates, the election will probably be followed by a runoff election, and I have no doubt that Dr. Moin will be one of the candidates who will participate in the second round of the election. Q: What about Rafsanjani?

A: I think that he will be a serious rival, especially in the second round. Q: What about Mahdi Karrubi?

A: Recent polls do not suggest such a thing. Q: And what about the conservative candidate?

A: The current situation in our country is quite fluid. So we hope that, with the people’s cooperation, the conservatives will hardly have a chance."