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Iran President: Respect for Constitution, means of national strength

President Mohammad Khatami said in Firuzkouh on Thursday that law-abiding and mutual trust between the people and government and vice versa are the means of national strength, IRNA reported.

Addressing a large crowd of people in Firuzkouh, the president said, "Let's honor the democratic, Islamic and ethical criteria in our action. We should think about national interest. We should work in line with the Constitution to bolster national strength."

Working in line with the law serves to strengthen national solidarity and trust, the president said adding, "That's why I earnestly insist on executive procedure to guarantee the constitutional rights of the people."

"The legal provision will enable the president to stop violation of the Constitution and give confidence to the people that everything is being done within the boundaries of the Constitution," the president said.

President Khatami delivered two bills to the parliament last year seeking legal provisions, 1) to grant free and fair democratic elections, 2) to provide executive procedure for the president to ensure respect for constitutional rights of the people in the courts of justice.

The first bill seeks the Guardian Council to contain its authority to the constitutional mandate of supervisory to the elections and relinquish the extra power the fifth parliament gave.

The extra power deals with examining the eligibility of the candidates for which the Interior Ministry is responsible.

The Guardian Council had resisted relinquishing the extra power, but, the parliament said last month that a breakthrough was made in this respect.

The second bill deals with administration of justice and empowers the president to serve a notice to the Supreme Court when he sees a verdict issued by the court of justice is in contrast to the constitutional rights of the people.

The president's notice automatically stops implementation of the verdict and obliges the Supreme Court to refer the case to a panel of senior judges to determine whether or not the constitutional rights of the defendant have been respected.

The second bill is the result of public grievances about hefty verdicts being issued by the courts of justice against individuals for criticizing the state of affairs.

The defendants say that their criticism of the government system is their constitutional right and it is not fair to subject them to prison terms.

They say that their criticism should be heeded to improve the state of affairs and not be interpreted as something against the system.

President Khatami says current national economy, favourable

President Mohammad Khatami said in Firuzkouh on Thursday that the current national economy is favourable criticizing certain political parties misportraying the economic situation.

He said in his address to a large crowd in Firuzkouh that contrary to the satisfactory economic realities, the political atmosphere is unhealthy.

The president complained about the efforts being made to display that everything is negative and magnify minor deficiencies.

"The current domestic economic trend is promising and more decisive measures are now being taken toward scientific, industrial and agricultural development."

"In 1989, 16,200 villages were deprived of electricity, while today the number is reduced to 600. Besides, in the same year 15,600 villages were short of potable water, out of which 9,900 are provided with fresh water supply," he added.

Turning to remarkable progress in cultural fields, he said that the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has accomplished noteworthy research on Holy Quran.

"However, writers and publishers still face some difficulties and have their worries over the lack of job security," he added.

He said that the people are interested in independence, freedom and the Islamic Republic as well as the religious democracy.

On political situation, he noted that criticism and political protests targeting the government mark the extent of political progress and social development under his government.

Stressing that a nation which is unified with its government will well resist the enemy, he said that the Americans are looking for a pretext to do something against Iran and the White House is scrutinizing the developments in Iran to find a pretext to exploit.

"Unfortunately, today the US administration adopted dangerous tactic by resorting to baseless allegations. However, we should avoid giving them any execuse," he said.

"In any lively community, opposition should be tolerated as a basic principle, while protestors should be differentiated from enemies," he said.

The president underlined that enemies should be treated in accordance with law and added that this is the only way to restore security, power, freedom and spirituality all together.

"Such a community would certainly be in position to resist any foreign intrusion and defend its territorial integrity," he added.

Turning to Firuzkouh as an ancient and historical town of great honor, he said that its strategic position accounts for building up strong fortifications over there in the course of history.

President Khatami said there are a total of 138 historical, cultural and religious monuments in Firuzkouh, out of which 19 are listed as national relics, which indicated its potential for promotion of tourism.

He added that proper investment in the ancient town can change it into Iran's tourist hub.

Pointing to the first and second phases of Namroud dam in the town, which are completed, he promised the people to see to it that the funds required to finalize the project will be provided.

The president said that provision of gas in the area requires 70 kms of pipelines. Given that laying gas pipeline is quite slow and time-consuming, he issued orders to expedite the process.

... Payvand News - 7/24/03 ... --

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