Sunday, June 05, 2005

Rafsanjani seeks to promote cohesion in presidential election

Rafsanjani seeks to promote cohesion in presidential election: "Election Countdown
Rafsanjani seeks to promote cohesion in presidential election
TEHRAN, June 5 (MNA) -- “People have gotten in the habit of dismissing and defaming each other. Everyone believes he/she is efficient enough to solve problems, but we will be able to solve problems if we are united, and that is the case,” Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani told a gathering of people here on Thursday.
The presidential candidate asked all his supporters to not prevent him from attaining his main goal in the presidential election, which he described by saying, “I have run for president to make the election more cohesive. We all know the other candidates quite well, and they are definitely the sincere forces of the Islamic Revolution.”

Speaking to a gathering of members of Bakers Unions on Friday, Rafsanjani said that if he were elected president, he would try to delegate some responsibilities of the government to the people, adding that he was aware of the great number of obstacles in the way of this path.

He went on to say that Iran enjoys a significant status in the world and possesses great assets, which could be quite useful even if Iran were to become isolated.

Rafsanjani also noted that the United States unintentionally helped Iran through defeating the Taleban, overthrowing Saddam Husseain, and weakening the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq group.

Qalibaf pledges to support border regions

“People in the border provinces serve the government more than those in other places and so should at least enjoy a good standard of living,” presidential hopeful Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf told a gathering of people in Sarv border district in West Azerbaijan Province on Friday.

With regard to the problem of goods smuggling, Qalibaf added that he had formulated a plan, according to which the border residents of the country can earn $1 billion annually through trade transactions, saying that whether he is elected or rejected the plan has been sent to the Majlis and it will hopefully be implemented in the current Iranian calendar year (ends March 20, 2005).

He also noted that the national economy has the capacity to pay more attention to the trade, animal husbandry, and agricultural industries in border regions, saying that the phenomenon of migration from border regions to the suburbs of large cities, which is currently a serious problem in society, could be addressed by improving the standard of living in these regions.

He cited genuineness, sincerity, humility, and contentment as the main characteristics of nomads and said that although different ethnic groups and followers of different religions live in Iran, they get along quite well because they believe themselves to be primarily Iranian nationals.

My main rival is Rafsanjani: Moin

In an interview with the London-based Arabic language daily Al-Hayat, presidential hopeful Mostafa Moin said on Thursday that he believes his main rival is Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Moin said Iran’s nuclear program, including the uranium enrichment activities, is one of Iran’s inalienable rights and that it was highly improbable that the Islamic Republic would halt its nuclear activities under the pressure of the United States and other Western countries.

However, he underlined the necessity of continuing negotiations with the European Union to convince the world about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.

He also referred to the Middle East peace process, Israel, the United States, and political developments in Iraq and Afghanistan as the main challenges that the next president would face, and said that he would establish a great, popular reformist administration and thus pave the way for negotiations with the world.

Moin also stated that he believes in the necessity to lay the groundwork for holding negotiations with the United States to clarify their mutual interests.

Karrubi advocates détente policy in foreign affairs

“The détente policy should be seriously pursued in foreign policy, and we should maintain our identity in our foreign policy,” presidential candidate Mahdi Karrubi told a gathering of his supporters in Arak, Central Province on Thursday.

In an interview with Al-Hayat on the same day, he said that foreign threats would increase national solidarity, adding, “Foreign powers are trying to dissuade people from participating in the election, but I believe the turnout will be large.”

On Iran’s political relations with the United States, he stated that the case is quite complicated because the U.S. had spared no effort against Iran and this has made the situation difficult, but if the United States should show its benevolence, the situation would be different and Iran would negotiate with it without losing sovereignty because Iran is not a warmonger country.

He also said that Iran should gain the confidence of the international community through negotiations and convince them that Iran’s nuclear activities are conducted within the framework of International Atomic Energy Agency regulations.

Larijani vows to promote new outlook on religion

Presidential hopeful Ali Larijani said on Sunday that promoting a new outlook on religion would be one of the main priorities of his “Government of Hope”.

“I intend to resist underdevelopment and mental suffocation,” he told students at Ferdowsi University in Mashhad.

Larijani noted that specialization and experience were two important factors that he would consider in selecting members of his cabinet, if elected president.

Criticizing President Khatami’s government for failing in its policy of détente, he said that Iran should become a geostrategic power in the military, economic, and political spheres.

“My government will pursue a cultural, religious, and indigenous strategy,” the former director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) network announced.

People can never tolerate discrimination and injustice: Ahmadinejad

Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday that people can tolerate poverty but not discrimination and injustice.

“Islam without justice is not Islam,” the presidential candidate told a huge crowd in Yasuj, Kohkiluyeh and Boyerahmad Province.

Ahmadinejad noted that the great economic disparities between Tehran and other cities in the country is a sign of discrimination in the distribution of wealth.

Rezaii attempts to unite conservatives

Presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaii said on Sunday that he had initiated a new plan to unite the conservatives.

Unity among these forces can boost voter turnout, he told reporters in Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province."