Friday, May 13, 2005

Iranians deserve higher standard of living: Qalibaf

Iranians deserve higher standard of living: Qalibaf: "Iranians deserve higher standard of living: Qalibaf
TEHRAN, May 13 (MNA) -- The great Iranian nation can easily solve any problem, even if it seems insurmountable, former national police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said on Friday after registering as a candidate in Iran’s ninth presidential election.
In a statement issued the same day, he noted that Iran’s status in the international arena is far from what it should be, adding that Iranians should rely on their religious and national culture and focus on national interests in order to help the country attain its rightful place in the world.

The presidential hopeful said that the Iranian nation deserves a higher standard of living, and not just in regard to economic considerations.

An excellent standard of living in all spheres, including the social and personal areas, is the right of Iranians and would be a sign of Iran’s national sovereignty, he added.

Qalibaf expressed the view that the actual cause of the current problems in the country is the unsettled political atmosphere, which draws a contrast between freedom and justice, political and economic development, democracy and employment, and finally between conservatism and reformism.

If these issues were examined impartially, there would be no contrast, he observed.

Reform will be continued within framework of Constitution: Karrubi

After registering as a presidential candidate on Friday, former parliament speaker Mahdi Karrubi told reporters, “I respect all candidates, regard all as my rivals, and also consider myself to be their serious challenger.”

On his plans to counter foreign threats, Karrubi said, “We have a message of peace and friendship for the world. We don’t seek war and tension, but we don’t fear any threats, and we will defend the people’s rights in the event of any threat.”

Karrubi stated that he welcomes the candidacy of Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, adding, “We all should know that our election is serious and competitive.”

Reform is the request of the revolution and the people and it will be continued within the framework of the Constitution, Karrubi observed.

He said that the establishment of a strong government was at the top of his agenda, adding that a strong government can play a key role in solving the problems of society.

A democratic government is a meritocracy: Larijani

Presidential candidate Ali Larijani told a gathering of writers and researchers in Qom on Thursday that U.S. officials are afraid of a conservative victory in the presidential election because that would mean they had lost both Iran and Iraq, and so they have taken some divisive measures to prevent such an eventuality.

He stated that the United States wants a weak government in Iran so that it can promote secular tendencies among journalists, academics, and intellectuals and achieve its objectives in the region.

Larijani also criticized what he called the administrative discrimination prevalent throughout the country and said that a democratic government is a meritocracy that utilizes the knowledge and abilities of talented citizens.

He went on to say that political officials should not get involved in economic issues.

Larijani plans to officially register for the presidential election on Saturday.

Victory is more than getting all the votes: Ahmadinejad

Presidential hopeful Mahmud Ahmadinejad said here on Thursday that whoever runs in the presidential election and expresses his viewpoints in such a way so as to help the people have a better choice, is the winner.

Getting all the votes is not a victory, the Tehran mayor told reporters.

“We are a large family and should join hands to solve our problems,” he said.

The Iranian nation, as the forerunner of independence, freedom, and development in the world, deserves more than what it has received so far, he added.

Ahmadinejad officially registered as a presidential candidate on Friday."