Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Rafsanjani paid tribute to the nomadic tribes for their proud role in history

Iran's Rafsanjani reiterates importance of social justice: "Media Monitor

Iran's Rafsanjani reiterates importance of social justice
Jun 7, 2005, 13:08 GMT
Tehran, 7 June: Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, one of the candidates in the ninth round of presidential elections, has said: Establishment of social justice is the most important covenant between the people and the revolution; and its implementation in the interest of all the strata must be the most essential agenda of the government.

Speaking at a meeting with the representatives of the country's nomadic tribes on Tuesday morning [7 June], Rafsanjani stressed the need for the state assistance to the people in less developed regions of the country. He said: In order to combat poverty in various geographical locations, the government should think of a solution.

Rafsanjani added: One such solution could be the allocation of greater role to provincial authorities so as to collect local taxes for various projects in the province.

The chairman of the Expediency Council said that it was essential to pay attention to particular economic, cultural and political circumstances of tribal areas when compiling and implementing development projects. He added: The government's plans should strengthen solidarity among various tribes and ethnic groups and increase their involvement in the running of state.

Rafsanjani said: Iranian nomadic tribes cost the government very little, but they provide the most fundamental requirements of the country.

He added: Whoever is elected as president shoulders a heavy burden of responsibility to pay greater attention to the country's nomadic tribes; and taking care of the lower income strata in society must be one of the priorities of the next government.

Rafsanjani paid tribute to the nomadic tribes for their proud role in history and said: Whenever the country faced problems, our zealous nomadic tribes defended the realm of the Islamic Republic side by side the other strata in society.

In conclusion, Rafsanjani said that the martyrs from the ranks of nomadic tribes should be identified and honoured.

Before Rafsanjani's speech, the representatives of the nomadic tribes read out a pledge to express support for his candidacy in the forthcoming presidential elections.

Source: Fars News Agency web site, Tehran, in Persian 1017 gmt 7 Jun 05

BBC Mon ME1 MEPol grs

Copyright 2005 BBC Monitoring Service distributed by United Press International"

Next president should improve nomads’ standard of living: Rafsanjani

Description of Selected News: "Moin condemns efforts to boycott election

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- "If we continue to argue in favor of boycotting the presidential election, we will lose our inalienable right to decide our own destiny," presidential hopeful Mostafa Moin said on Monday in Saqqez, Kordestan Province.

"My government would be established based on collective wisdom, and the new government must be established to solidly safeguard the reform movement," he added.

Moin said he considers "increasing the level of the nation's political acumen" one of the achievements of the eight-year rule of the reform government.

"A determined human being never loses hope, since he who loses hope has no future, and that is the worst thing that can happen to a society,” he said in conclusion.

Next president should improve nomads’ standard of living: Rafsanjani

Presidential candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here on Tuesday that during the post–war reconstruction period, a great amount of funding was allocated to the infrastructure system and Iran could not improve the standard of living for the poor, but now the road is clear for such measures.

Strengthening the role of provinces in receiving local taxes to be spent in the same province is one of the strategies, the Expediency Council chairman added.

In light of the country’s specific economic, cultural, and political conditions, it is necessary to devise a series of development programs through which national unity can be fostered among Iran’s different ethnic groups, he observed.

Rafsanjani also noted that the nomads provide the most essential needs of the people but receive the least allocations from the national budget, adding that whoever assumes power in the country as the next president should take measures to improve their standard of living.

Women managers make fewer mistakes: Qalibaf

Presidential hopeful Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf believes that women in managerial posts make fewer mistakes in comparison with their male counterparts.

Speaking to a gathering of hundreds of women in Tehran on Tuesday, Qalibaf said that 50 percent of our human resources in national development are women, so their role in the country should be accurately defined.

He cited the great capabilities of Iranian women in different social spheres.

He added that 60 percent of Iranian university students are women, so if they fail to find an appropriate job after graduation, they will become frustrated and depressed.

He also promised to appoint more women in his administration and said that Iran has had a somewhat patriarchal attitude in the past, but Iranians are now obliged to consider women’s talents and capabilities in the modern era.

My ‘Welfare Administration’ would give pension benefits equal to salary: Mehralizadeh

Presidential candidate Mohsen Mehralizadeh told a gathering of political and economic experts in Mazandaran Province on Tuesday that his ‘Welfare Administration’ would give pension benefits equal to worker’s salaries.

He also noted that in order to establish his Welfare Administration, he would use all legal mechanisms.

Mehralizadeh went on to say that the Welfare Administration would be an administration that prepares the ground for the participation of all people in all social, cultural, economic, and intellectual fields.

He added that in selecting his cabinet members, he would consider their efficiency and youth, saying the crème de la crème of society would have active roles in his Welfare Administration.

20-year Outlook Plan targets unachievable with current management: Ahmadinejad

With the current attitude and management, Iran will fail to achieve the targets of the 20-year Outlook Plan, Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday.

Addressing people in a mosque in Abadan, Khuzestan Province, the presidential candidate said that some managers exaggerate problems to hide their inefficiency, adding that these managers should be dismissed.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ahmadinejad stated that one of the main problems of the country is negligence toward justice, adding that justice means to prepare the ground for equal development in all parts of the country and also to fairly distribute opportunities.

He went on to say that justice would eventually be established in the country since it is the main axis of development and prosperity.

Cautious reform doomed to failure: Rezaii

Presidential hopeful Mohsen Rezaii said in in Khorramabad, Lorestan Province on Tuesday that the overly cautious style of reform was no longer effective and that Iran should seek to bring about a great change in the country, a change that should begin from within the government.

The next government should focus all efforts on its main programs to provide security, social welfare, and economic prosperity, while avoiding injustice, he added. SA/HG End MNA"

Iran softening towards US

Iran softening towards US: "

Iran softening towards US
07/06/2005 12:07 - (SA)
Tehran - Iranian voters are more accustomed to hearing their politicians chant "Death to America" - but ahead of next week's presidential election the issue of relations with the US has been turned on its head.

It is an ironic shift for the Islamic republic, founded on the dogma of resisting "Zionist-American conspiracies" and priding itself on standing up to the "Great Satan".

But, as one Iranian analyst pointed out, "for most Iranians the breaking off of relations with the United States is the main cause of their problems, and many people want to give their next president a mandate to finally resolve the issue".

Iran's regime has tried but failed to stem public calls for reconciliation, most recently in 2002 when it jailed a group of opinion pollsters who published a shock survey saying that three-quarters of the population wanted to see dialogue with the United States resume.

The poll was particularly embarrassing for the regime, given that one of the organisers was Abbas Abdi - a leading player in the seizing of the US embassy in Tehran in 1980 and the holding of its diplomats for 444 days, the crisis that prompted the severing of ties.

Abdi, however, was released last month by order of Iran's Supreme Court in a move which sent a signal that the regime was capable of displaying a pragmatic, and not knee-jerk, approach to the issue.

Overturning Abdi's conviction of "providing information to the enemies of the Islamic regime", the Supreme Court concluded that "Iran and the United States are not in a state of hostilities".

The issue has inevitably been thrust to the forefront of the election campaign.

Pushing for democracy

"It will be the first presidential election where international affairs are as important as domestic issues," said Mohammad Reza Khatami, leader of the main pro-reform party and brother of outgoing President Mohammad Khatami.

"The regime can no longer do as it wishes, and the free world is pushing for democracy in our region."

Even one of the main hardline candidates, former Revolutionary Guards commander and national police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, has noticed that something has changed.

Out campaigning across the country, he said he had observed that "people seem to think that all of our problems stem from our relations with the United States".

And speaking to AFP, Qalibaf appeared to be reluctantly prepared to swim with, rather than against, public opinion on the issue.

"As long as they threaten us, they will be called the Great Satan. But if the people think this issue is important..," he said, struggling to find the right words and steer his way through what is new ideological ground.

The desire for a fresh look at the issue is hardly surprising - US sanctions are, after all, a major headache for Iran's economy. Foreign investment is blocked, and billions of dollars of Iranian assets have been frozen in US banks for a quarter of a century.

Edited by Tisha Steyn"

Iran Scan - Moin has a serious chance to pull an upset.

Iran Scan - The democratic future of Iran: "Moin has a serious chance to pull an upset. Clearly he is galvanizing the Pro-US-Invasion voters and he will get the Zionist vote. He is even gaining some of the Reformist vote. The Reformists who oppose Islamic Theocracy are uniting behind Moin. What he needs now is a tie, a yamaka, and to name Akbar Ganji as his choice for Vice President in charge of the Ministry of Mis-Information, Lies, and Blasphemy. That would guarantee him the vote... at least from this site. "

The Daily Star - Rafsanjani campaign complains of arson and graffiti attacks / Moin questions the powers of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

The Daily Star - Politics - Rafsanjani campaign complains of arson and graffiti attacks: "Rafsanjani campaign complains of arson and graffiti attacks

By Agence France Presse (AFP)
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
TEHRAN: Arsonists and gangs spraying graffiti are trying to undermine the presidential election campaign of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a party official has warned. Rahman Ranjbar, spokesman for a group of parties backing the comeback attempt of Iran's former president, said groups of men in civilian clothes and on motorbikes set fire to some 50 banners and posters at a party office in the capital.

They also sprayed graffiti, saying "Hashemi: NO."

"Identical attacks took place in the cities of Semnan and Qazvin, and the provinces of Khorassan, West Azerbaijan and Sistan-Baluchestan," Ranjbar said.

No confirmation of the attacks was immediately available but anti-Rafsanjani graffiti has been seen across Tehran, mostly accusing him of being rich and corrupt.

Informal opinion polls have placed Rafsanjani, a pragmatic conservative, as leading the pack of eight candidates approved to run in the June 17 polls. Seen as running a distant second is former national police chief and hard-liner Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf.

With just over a week to go to the election, the embattled reformist camp meanwhile has moved to boost its meager chances by siding with a banned but tolerated liberal group.

The main reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), whose candidate is Mostafa Moin, has joined forces with the Iran Freedom Movement (IFM), said one of Moin's aides, Issa Saharkhiz.

He said the two groups had formed a "Front for Democracy and Human Rights."

"This front has been formed after several months of discussions with the religious-nationalist opposition," he said, the day after Moin held a final round of talks with the IFM's dissident leader, Ibrahim Yazdi.

Yazdi is facing charges of seeking to overthrow the Islamic regime and was barred from standing in the presidential election.

He was a close aide to Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during his final year in exile in 1978 in France, and served as foreign minister in the provisional government of Mehdi Bazargan.

The Iran Freedom Movement, founded in the 1960s by Bazargan, is now banned in Iran because it questions certain principles of the Islamic Republic. But the group remains active.

The alliance between the IIPF and the IFM comes after Moin has already been radicalizing his campaign by flirting with Iran's so-called "red lines" - notably by questioning the powers of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. - AFP"