Monday, June 20, 2005

Iran reformists back Rafsanjani - Forbes.com

Iran reformists back Rafsanjani - Forbes.com: "AFX News Limited
Iran reformists back Rafsanjani
06.19.2005, 02:29 PM

TEHRAN (AFX) - Iran's reformist camp, whose candidates were knocked out in the first round of the presidential election, have called for voters to back Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in the run-off in order to block hardliner Mahmood Ahmadinejad.

A statement from the main reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), said it would 'move actively against the politico-military camp in the second round to prevent a monopolisation of power' by hardliners.

'The danger which threatens the country today is that of the barracks and soldiers directly intervening in the election and the politics of the country,' it said.

'We hold the hand of all partisans of freedom, democracy and human rights,' the party said, calling on Iranians to vote and 'not to remain indifferent in today's sensitive situation,' the IIPF said.

The party's candidate, Mostafa Moin, came in fifth in Friday's election, which is now set to go into a two man run-off next Friday because none of the seven contenders scored more than 50 pct of the vote.

Rafsanjani is a pragmatic conservative, and but he has recently cast himself as a moderating force who favours closer ties with the West and fewer social restrictions. His rival will be Ahmadinejad, the new face of Iran's extreme right.

The IIPF said Iranians needed 'to prevent our country from falling into the trap of Talibanism and totalitarianism'.

Iran's other main leftist party, the Organisation of Mujahedeen of the Islamic Revolution (OMIR), also backed Rafsanjani.

'OMIR explicitly announces its support to Rafsanjani in the second round of the presidential election and calls on alert and mature Iranians to cast their votes in favour of him to prevent a reactionary dictatorship,' the group said in a statement.

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