Sunday, January 02, 2005

Islamic Iran Independent Society will back Karrubi candidacy

Description of Selected News: "IIIS will back Karrubi candidacy

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) – The Islamic Iran Independent Society (IIIS) will throw its weight behind the candidacy of Mahdi Karrubi, the former Majlis speaker and the Secretary General of the Assembly Combatant Clerics, in next presidential election.

IIIS Central Council members believe with regard to the problems facing people and the country only Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Karrubi can handle the country’s issues, the IIIS said in its statement on Sunday."

SCP to support Rowhani if Rafsanjani does not run for president: source

SCP to support Rowhani if Rafsanjani does not run for president: source: "SCP to support Rowhani if Rafsanjani does not run for president: source

TEHRAN, Jan. 1 (MNA) -- An informed source said on Saturday that if Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani decides not to run in the presidential election the Servants of Construction Party (SCP) will throw its support behind Hassan Rowhani, the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, as its candidate.
“The likelihood of the candidacy of Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani is high, but if Hashemi doesn’t participate, the Servants will back Rowhani,” the source, who requested anonymity, told the Mehr News Agency.

However, the SCP’s first choice is Rafsanjani, and it is believed that he will run, the source added."

Karrubi officially enters presidential race

Karrubi officially enters presidential race: "Karrubi officially enters presidential race
TEHRAN, Jan. 1 (MNA) -- Former Majlis speaker Mahdi Karrubi announced on Saturday that he will be a candidate in the presidential election scheduled for late spring.
No potential candidate, including Hashemi Rafsanjani and Moein, “will discourage me from entering this contest because I believe the presidential election should be competitive,” Karrubi told reporters after attending a meeting of the Expediency Council.

The reformist Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP) and the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization (IRMO) have fielded former science minister Mostafa Moein as their presidential candidate. Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has not yet announced whether he will enter the race or not.

“A free and serious competition in the election between all political currents will increase people’s participation,” Karrubi noted.

Karrubi, who is the secretary of the reformist Assembly of Combatant Clerics, said that a massive voter turnout is necessary for republicanism to continue.

Today, the Islamic Republic is in need of Islam and republicanism more than at any other time, therefore everyone should try to hold a competitive election with massive participation by the people, observed the reformist-minded cleric.

Karrubi also said the participation of various groups in the presidential election would boost voter turnout."

IranMania News

IranMania News: "Iran's Rafsanjani waiting for response of elite

Saturday, January 01, 2005 - ©2004

LONDON, Jan 1 (IranMania) - Iran's State Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said if the elite reached the conclusion that he should run for presidency, he would do so.

In a meeting with the chairman and members of the Association of Parliamentarians in the Post-Islamic Revolution Era, Rafsanjani said, "At this juncture I do not intend to run for presidency. But if the elite concluded that I should run for presidency at this historic moment, God willing, I would enter the electoral scene."

According to ISNA, head of the association, Mostafa Naseri-Zanjani, also addressed the meeting and said the next president should be a person who can mobilize all the capacities of political factions and the sympathizers of the Islamic Revolution, and adheres to the constitution and the progressive notion of supreme jurisprudence.

He noted that the future chief executive must transcend factional considerations.

Naseri-Zanjani further said that under the sensitive international conditions and at a time when enemies of the Islamic Revolution are plotting against it, the next president should be a well-known figure on the international scene and enjoy a broad support base on the home front.

Addressing Rafsanjani, Naseri-Zanjani said, "We respect all the political factions and people who have nominated themselves for presidency. However, at this juncture we feel that you have a previous experience of presidency and are a clear choice for president this time around. Therefore, if you consider it expedient, enter the electoral scene so that the people and sympathizers of the Islamic Revolution would have no worries.""

Irans presidential poll set for June 17

Irans presidential poll set for June 17 -: "
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Irans presidential poll set for June 17
1/1/2005 3:00:00 PM GMT

Elham said that Iran’s Guardian Council agreed that the presidential elections be held on June 17.\Iran’s Guardian Council (GC) has agreed that the presidential elections be held on June 17, 2005, GC spokesman, Gholam Hossein Elham, said on Saturday.

The Guardians Council is a conservative-held monitoring body that vets legislation, candidates for public office and polls. It had refused earlier proposals from the interior ministry for the elections to be held in mid-May.

Elham said during his weekly press briefing that the council also approved the date of the parliamentary elections, noting that it will be held on the same day as the presidential polls.

Many influential conservative politicians have already entered the presidential race to replace President Mohammad Khatami, who served two consecutive terms and is banned by the constitution from a third presidential term.

Peace Prize Laureate, Iranian Shririn Ebadi, will also run for presidency in the upcoming elections.

14 groups such as the Council in Defense of Prisoners' Rights as well as independent human rights activists will set up a coalition to support Ebadi's candidacy.

Former foreign minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, currently a senior advisor to supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced that he will run for presidency. Also Mohsen Rezai, a former chief of the Revolutionary Guards, and Ali Larijani, the longtime head of Iran's state broadcast media, will join the race.

Iran’s senior national security official and nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rohani, said that he was considering joining the list of presidential candidates, while former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, considers participation but hasn’t yet declared his final decision.

The Islamic republic’s main reform party, the Participation Front (IIPF) nominated former higher education minister, Mostafa Moin, as its official candidate, while Vice President, Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh, joined the presidential race.

Former parliament speaker, Mehdi Karoubi, hasn’t yet decided whether to stand or not."

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Iran Council Sets June 17 as Election Day

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Iran Council Sets June 17 as Election Day: "Iran Council Sets June 17 as Election Day

Published: January 2, 2005

EHRAN, Jan. 1 (Reuters) - Iran's legislative watchdog, the Guardian Council, on Saturday set June 17 as the date for presidential elections, which are expected to result in the final defeat of the reform movement led by President Mohammad Khatami, a goal long sought by conservative clerics.

The Guardian Council had already rejected proposed election dates in May.

Mr. Khatami, a reformist, was elected by a landslide in 1997 and again in 2001. But his popularity fell as people grew disillusioned with his inability to push through reforms against clerical resistance.

Mr. Khatami, who cannot run for a third successive term, came to power promising political, social and economic change, but conservative clerics frustrated his efforts.

Conservatives trounced reformists in parliamentary elections last February after the council banned thousands of reformist candidates, including many members of Parliament, on the ground that they did not meet its moral standards.

There has been heated speculation about who will now run for the presidency, and the influential former president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, regarded as a pragmatic conservative, has indicated that he might run if he gets enough high-level backing.

Several parties are backing a comeback by Mr. Rafsanjani, whose presidency from 1989 to 1997 was marked by modest social reform."

Resalat Commentary on Presidential Race

Iran News: "29 December 2004 BBC Monitoring Middle East
Iranian commentary views implications of presidential electioneering
Thu Dec 30, 2004 09:50

Iranian commentary views implications of presidential electioneering
29 December 2004 BBC Monitoring Middle East
(c) 2004 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Text of analytical commentary by Ruhollah Jom'eh'i in "Outlook" column, entitled: "With the developments of the 2005 election", published by the Iranian newspaper Resalat web site on 28 December

The past few days can be called the period of competition over the nomination of the presidential candidates. In that period, in addition to the suggested candidates, the names of Hasan Rowhani, Nezhad-Hoseynian, Mehr-Alizadeh, Bitaraf, etc. could be seen in the reports of various news agencies. Experts believe that most of those names are being mentioned merely by some supporters and with the aim of making the relevant individual of issue.

However, the candidacy of Hasan Rowhani was worth deliberating upon from certain points of view. It was rumoured in some circles that Hasan Rowhani was in fact the person favoured by Hojjat ol-Eslam val-Moslemin Hashemi-Rafsanjani. As a result of the rumour, the issue of the head of the Expediency Council [Rafsanjani] not coming forward as a candidate acquired greater prominence. The principal point here, however, is whether Shaykh Hasan Rowhani can win the consensus of the orthodox group and that of even half the members of the Militant Clergy Association, of which he himself is a member.

The spokesman for the Militant Clergy Association, Mesbahi-Moqaddam, considered this to be unlikely and unthinkable. Nevertheless, Mohammad Reza Bahonar, one of the members of the committee for the selection of the candidate of the orthodox current, in an interview with Fars News Agency, stressed: If Mr Hashemi-Rafsanjani puts his name forward for candidacy in the election, the orthodox current would study it.

The statements made by Bahonar are aimed at neutralising the conspiracy of creating a division in the orthodox current and the character assassination of the head of the Expediency Council, who is one of the strong and everlasting pillars of the ruling system, by certain extremist spectrums.

Ali Larijani, another of the options suggested by the orthodox current, commenting on the issue in an interview given to ISNA, says: If the Coordinating Council of the Forces of the Islamic Revolution nominates Hashemi-Rafsanjani or someone else as its candidate, I will support the nominee.

In an analysis of the latest actions taken by the orthodox current, Fars News Agency wrote: The second round of the negotiations by the committee for examining the candidates of the orthodox current were carried out with the current's five candidates. The agency added: Following its talks and investigations, the committee will introduce a single orthodox candidate for taking part in the presidential election.

Commenting on the issue in Ilam, Mohammad Reza Bahonar told ILNA [Iranian Labour News Agency]: We are busy carrying out opinion polls among the various walks of life in the community as well as among fellow-thinkers on the issue of selecting the best candidate in order to be able to arrive at a final decision.

[Mrs] Maryam Behruzi [secretary-general of the Zeynab Society], tells an ILNA correspondent: The Followers of the Front of the Line of the Imam and the Leader will introduce its principal choice in the month of Dey [month beginning 21 December].

However, in the government current, character assassination by the twin extremist spectrums (Organization of the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution and the Islamic Iran Participation Front) with the help of the latest weapons of psychological war has taken on an accelerating form against Hojjat ol-Eslam Mehdi Karrubi. While the Militant Clerics Society has officially nominated Karrubi as the candidate sought by the government current and Montajebnia [a prominent member of the society], praises his characteristics, saying: He possesses all the characteristics and merits of a president, reports indicate that the main elements in the twin spectrums have begun extensive and covert efforts aimed at dissuading Karrubi on the one hand and character assassinating him in political and student circles, on the other.

It was reported by political circles that three of the principal elements of the spectrum had called on him in a meeting to change his mind about taking part in the election. They had warned the former Majlis Speaker that the Guardian Council was going to reject his competence. However, Karrubi has rejected the allegation. They also alleged that Karrubi was indulging in character assassination, something that they themselves are perpetrating.

In the meantime, the media that are affiliated to the twin spectrums have attempted to suggest members of a cabinet for Mehdi Karrubi in a psychological operation so that they might succeed in forcing the secretary of the Militant Clerics Society to retreat under the pressure of rumours and intimidations.

This is while according to a report by the Young Journalists Club, Karrubi, in a reaction to the extremists' choice, says: In the presidential election I earnestly welcome the candidacy of Mo'in and Bitaraf and think that in such a case we will have a satisfactory election.

Another of the rumours that are being propagated by the twin extremist spectrums is that the orthodox current has already selected its principal candidate and the holding of meetings, talks, etc., are all aimed at deceiving public opinion. The unfounded rumour was so baseless and futile that it failed to provoke any of the principal players of the orthodox current to make a response.

Source: Resalat web site, Tehran, in Persian 28 Dec 04, pp3,19 "