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Guardian Council's approval of bill will strengthen determination of pro-reform lobbies in Iran: daily

Tehran, Jan 7, IRNA -- `Iran Daily' on Tuesday wrote that if the powerful Guardian Council (GC) approves the proposed bill that calls for enhancing the powers of the chief executive of the country, it will add to the will and determination of the pro-reform lobbies to push and augment their agenda of change, openness and accountability.

President Mohammad Khatami is hopeful that the recent bill submitted by his government to the Parliament (Majlis), which calls to enhance the President's powers, will be approved by the powerful GC.

Khatami's guarded optimism about how the Council will vote "encompasses security considerations and places high hopes on moderate conservatives said to be supporting the empowerment proposal", noted the English-language daily in its Perspective column.

Based on this view, "the situation in the Middle East and the so-called new global order in the aftermath of the airborne 9/11 attacks imply that America is pushing to alter the regional political map and hence regional powers are obliged to adopt rational moves," it noted.

Furthermore, it stressed, since the Bush administration has lumped Iran as part of the "axis of evil", the latter is vulnerable to US machinations. Hence Tehran's foreign policy guidelines must take into consideration both political and security issues, suggested the article.

Khatami's optimism over ratification of the bill stems largely from the understanding that moderates among the normally hard line conservatives will come to terms with the current regional realities and ultimately stop undermining his administration, it went on to say.

Some conservatives have however rejected the idea that the major reformist group in the country, namely the Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF) must be rehabilitated. They have also denounced the controversial death verdict against academic Hashem Aghajari, a leading light of the advocates of change, noted the daily.

Another ray of hope is that the Tehran Revolutionary Court has declared that the banned liberal group, the Freedom Movement of Iran is not subversive. There is increasing hope that the much-publicized case against an opinion poll center and its directors will be resolved without further turmoil, it said.

The second view suggests that the government bill may simply not see the light of day.

Proponents of this position maintain that Khatami's hope could be the outcome of some underhand negotiations between the government and the GC.

The same group also believes that the conservatives are adamant on dislodging their strong opponents in the IIPF under the pretext that its members have "questionable relations" with aliens and are seeking to undermine the state by floating "dangerous" ideas which were taboo in the not too distant past, concluded the daily.

... Payvand News - 1/7/03 ... --

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