Friday, June 10, 2005

Tehran Times Political Desk - Election Countdown

Description of Selected News: "Election Countdown

Tehran Times Political Desk
Iran has great historical responsibility: Ahmadinejad

TEHRAN (MNA) -- Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadinejad told a gathering of thousands of people in Qom Province on Friday that Iran is a special nation with a great historical responsibility.

The presidential hopeful added that the Iranian nation is duty bound to form a modern, exemplary, sovereign Islamic society as soon as possible.

In order to achieve this ideal, the nation has so far passed two milestones, the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of an Islamic system, he observed.

Up to now, the nation has encountered great problems, including the puppet Pahlavi regime, the interim government, several liberalist or Marxist groups, economic and political sanctions, Iraq’s eight-year imposed war on Iran, several assassinations, and the Iranian nation has overcome all of them, he said.

Ahmadinejad noted that since the enemies have been disappointed in the aforementioned plots, they are now seeking to weaken the country’s management system in order to hinder Iran’s progress.

However, with the all-out support of the people as well as the guidance of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, a real Islamic government will soon be established in Iran, he said.

Iran in need of great transformation: Rezaii

Presidential hopeful Mohsen Rezaii said in Fouladshahr, Isfahan Province on Thursday that making fundamental changes in the government and altering the arrangement of power in the country require popular support as well as courage on the part of the next government.

As long as the arrangement of power is not changed in Iran, the standard of living of the people will not improve, he added.

He went on to say that Iran is in dire need of a great transformation and a government quite different from the current one should be established so that it can create a fundamental change in all economic, management, and industrial aspects of the people’s lives within the framework of the Constitution.

Rezaii also noted that he intends to establish a popular, efficient and pragmatic government. -------------Human resources must be utilized to solve social problems: Moin

Presidential candidate Mostafa Moin said here on Friday that as long as Iran fails to utilize its human resources, it will not be able to solve social problems, adding that he would employ a democratic method of rule.

Speaking at Tehran’s Tarbiat Modarres University, Moin stated that the lack of enthusiasm about the election is due to the frustration of the youth, adding that inspiring even one of these young people would be a great service to society.

On the possibility of negotiations with the United States in the future, he said that holding negotiations with the U.S. would depend on the social situation because one can not negotiate with that country without reflection.

Qalibaf promises to establish excellent relations with neighboring countries

In an interview with the Saudi Arabian daily Aljazeera here on Friday, presidential candidate Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said that he would establish excellent relations with neighboring countries. Qalibaf, who is one of the front runners in the election, added, “The suffering of some people in Iran is not in accordance with the values of the Islamic Revolution. Our revolution is based on two main axes: Islam and the people.”

On his economic and political programs, he said that he is determined to form a new administration which would rely on the youth, adding that he would spare no effort to struggle against every kind of corruption.

Qalibaf went on to say that he would reform all organizations and support political parties and political and individual freedom.

On Iran’s nuclear dossier, he said that Iran’s right to access nuclear technology is recognized in international law, and Iran will continue diplomatic activities to ensure that the nuclear negotiations continue.

Asked about his attitude toward the phenomenon of terrorism, he noted that Iran has been one of the victims of terrorism and so the Islamic Republic is one of the countries which fight against terrorism.

However, Iranians do not call the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance groups terrorists, but, quite the contrary, they consider the Zionist regime to be a terrorist government, he explained.

Agreement will eventually be reached in Iran-EU3 nuclear negotiations: Rafsanjani

In an exclusive interview with AFP, Iranian presidential candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that Iran and the EU3 (Britain, France, and Germany) will eventually reach an agreement in their nuclear negotiations. On his chance for winning the presidential office in the upcoming elections, he said, “One cannot be certain. The opinion polls say one thing, but we cannot say for certain what will happen." He rejected the idea that the issue of Iran's relations with the United States is playing a major role in the campaigning. "I do not think this is the case. But it is certain that when the problems with the United States are solved, there will be fundamental changes." He said he had an idea for resuming relations between Iran and the U.S. “If the Americans renounce their hostile stance and show goodwill, the road will be prepared for negotiations.” Rafsanjani said releasing Iranian frozen assets would be a correct gesture by the U.S. “I think this would be the right gesture that would show their goodwill. It would show the Americans are serious and wish to act." In response to a question on Iran’s response to rejection of its right to uranium enrichment and the possibility of leaving the negotiations, he said: “We need an accord on enrichment. (Bush) said, according to what was reported in the press, that Iran can enrich to low levels." Rafsanjani said he would try to ensure the application of due process of law on the issue of freedom of political prisoners. “If someone is unjustly in prison, I will try to free them. If it conforms with the law, then one can ask for a pardon. I would do that for every case." On the freedom of the press, satellite dishes and the Internet, the presidential hopeful said Iran’s press is in a good situation and their freedom can develop. “We cannot fight against satellite television and the Internet.”"