Sunday, May 01, 2005

Description of Selected News

Description of Selected News: "Tavakoli withdraws bid for president

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) – MP Ahmad Tavakoli announced his decision to withdraw from the presidential election here on Sunday.

In a statement addressing the Iranian nation, Tavakoli said that the presence of various conservative candidates in the election and the conservative front’s delay in introducing a final candidate has troubled the conscious nation of Iran and might even lead to the establishment of a government that would continue to govern in the same manner that has existed over the past 16 years.

Iran’s ninth presidential election is a unique opportunity for the people to vote for a government that seeks justice and would decisively fight against poverty, corruption and discrimination, he added in the statement.

Tavakoli praised the strenuous efforts of Majlis Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel in uniting conservative forces, expressing hope that these efforts would bear fruit. -Tavakoli’s withdrawal in line with four-sided covenant

Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai said that Tavakoli’s withdrawal from the election is in line with the objectives of the four-sided covenant between conservative candidates.

“Tavakoli’s withdrawal should not be considered as a move that will weaken the four-sided covenant, on the contrary it will stabilize it,” he told the Mehr News Agency.

Rezai added that Tavakoli’s main concern, like the other conservative candidates, is a consensus in the conservative camp. -Rafsanjani candidacy still not certain

The public relations office of the Expediency Council rejected here on Sunday reports that EC Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani intended to express his final decision on presidential candidacy in the general congress of the House of Workers on Sunday.

Rafsanjani refused to attend the congress earlier on Sunday.

“Since rumors had spread that Rafsanjani would announce his final decision on candidacy in the gathering and given that Rafsanjani did not intend to express his position on this occasion, he refused to attend the congress,” the office stated. -Moin says he sees no major rival from conservative camp

Presidential contender Mostafa Moin said on Sunday that he sees no major rival from the conservative camp, adding that he would still run for president if Rafsanjani enters the fray, IRNA reported.

Speaking to students at the University of Science and Technology, he said that national interests would be his red line, adding that the nation needs a new approach to opportunities and threats.

"By national interests, I mean I should support the fundamental rights of people and that I will not allow people’s rights to be trampled upon," Moin said.

He added that he would prepare the ground for freedom of expression in universities.

Moin noted that public participation in the poll would safeguard the reformists’ achievements, adding that if the conservatives win the presidential seat, they will undermine the achievements of the reform movement.

On relations with the United States, Moin said the issue of Iran-U.S. ties is the major challenge of Iran's foreign policy, adding that continued hostility with the U.S. does not serve national interests.

The presidential candidate said that he would revise Iranian foreign policy if elected president."