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Iran President stresses people's lawful demands, accountability of officials

President Mohammad Khatami, speaking in Shahriar, Tehran province, on Wednesday stressed that all should abide by the law regardless of their intentions. "Otherwise hoodlums and foreign and domestic enemies can take advantage of the situation," IRNA reported.

Speaking the public gathering in Shahriar, he added that violence is condemned in all its forms and should be avoided.

He also referred to attempts by some to aggrandize shortcomings and deficiencies in the society. "Some inside and outside the country strive to exaggerate obstacles, mislead the public or make-up lies," Khatami underlined.

He further cautioned the people to be cognizant in the present sensitive situation. The people should compare their welfare to the past as well as to other similar nations with comparable status to Iran.

He stressed on the accountability of officials to people's legitimate demands, adding, "The nation will react strongly to any insidious assertions regarding Iran's dependency, or its destitution."

The Iranian president said voicing criticism is in itself a 'value' which should be cherished. "The ruling system should accept that it is answerable to the people."

Elsewhere in his statements, Khatami alluded to economic issues including 'the high cost of living'. "Although, we suffer from such problems, the important issue is to not lose sight of the objectives at a time when officials are hard at work to overcome the hurdles," Khatami noted.

On the other hand the officials should know that their legitimacy and existence depends on abiding by the law, he declared.

People should also know that lawlessness and evading the law is a problem rooted in our history, however, 'independence and national interest dictate that the establishment and the people be united'. Despite determination of officials to resolve the problems 'the nation's capabilities is meager to satisfy the needs of 70 percent of the population who are under 35 years of age'.

"Many obstacles are created from outside and inside the country," he lamented.

Khatami referred to one-hundred years of struggle by the Iranians to attain independence, freedom and progress.

Today, Iranians are trying to build a democratic system based on Islamic tenets Khatami said lauding the 'Iranian resolve in standing up to many invasions throughout its glorious history'.

President Mohammad Khatami arrived in Shahriar on Wednesday to meet the citizens of Shahriar, a city in the southwest of Tehran province.

On arrival in the city, President Khatami was welcomed by a number of local state officials.

He is scheduled to attend a mass gathering of Shahriari citizens in the city's Shabahang Cultural-Sport Complex and deliver a speech. Concurrent to his visit, 31 construction, cultural, training and health projects are to be launched in Shahriar.

Shahriar Governor Behnam Pour-Heidari had earlier told IRNA that an amount of rls 116.58 billion has been spent on the projects.

Employment, the need to solve the unemployment problem, implementation of construction and training projects, putting metro line into operation, supply of irrigation and potable waters and expansion of roads are among the main demands of Shahriari citizens.

The city of Shahriar with a population of 850,000 consisting of nine townships and 79 villages is located 30 kms to the southwest of Tehran.

After addressing the gathering of Shahriari citizens, President Khatami left for Robat-Karim. He was warmly greeted by the people on arrival in the city this afternoon.

He is due to meet the citizens of Robat-Karim in the city Martyrs Sports Complex and deliver a speech.

The city of Robat-Karim with a population of 700,000 is located 27 kms to the southwest of the provincial capital of Tehran.

... Payvand News - 6/26/03 ... --

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