TEHRAN, Aug. 1 (Mehr News Agency) - Mehdi Karrubi ran unsuccessfully for presidential post in 2005. He came third after Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and sitting President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in the first round of elections. Until the last hours of vote counting Karrubi was ahead of Ahmadineajd. However, when all votes were counted he finished third and then a runoff began between Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad.
Angry over a lack of unity among reformists for fielding a single candidate for the presidential elections the former Majlis speaker embarked on establishing his own party, the National Confidence Party (NCP).
In an interview with Mehr News Agency published on Tuesday, said he has no intention to run for the 2008 parliamentary elections.
Below are excerpts of the interview:
Q: In a certain sense one can compare the sixth and the third Majlis, both were associated with the "left" wing and "Imam's line" and both had the potential for political tension. What is your opinion?
A: It is true that in the third and the sixth Majlis the left wing held the majority, and I was the speaker of the Majlis both times. Certain orientations were the same in the third and sixth Majlis but some slogans were in sharp contrast; for example in the third Majlis the anti-U.S. and anti-imperialistic atmosphere was dominant... but in the sixth Majlis there was hot debate about resuming relations with the United States, and one can say that the sixth Majlis was more "intellectual" than the third Majlis and other previous parliaments.
Most of the members of the six Majlis were those in the third Majlis but after 'the second Khordad' events their slogans changed. What had happened in the previous five and six years had changed them; everybody had changed. That was why the slogans of detente and establishing friendship groups were so common in the sixth Majlis. My relations with the world also expanded comparing to the time when I was in the third Majlis; during the third Majlis I traveled only to China, North Korea, Yemen and Pakistan, but during the sixth Majlis I visited countries like Italy, Austria, Finland, Belgium and Ukraine. We also had many guests, and generally the foreign policy was much more active in the sixth Majlis.
Q: It seems most people still do not know everything about your motivations for the establishment of the National Confidence Party; what was your real motivation?
A: Well I have always stated my views transparently and free of complexity and some reformists liked this approach and some didn't. Differences of views are natural. I established a party to push my plans more effectively. When a certain group takes power, disputes intensify....One of the reasons for creating the party was to guard the people's vote and to ensure sound elections.
The committee will be chaired by former interior minister Abdolvahed Musavi-Lari and ten other members of the reformist faction.
The others members are: the spokesman of the Servants of Construction Party Hossein Mar`ashi, MP Reza Noruz-zadeh, Secretary General of the Solidarity Party (SP) Ali-Asghar Ahmadi, member of the central committee of the Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP) Safdar Hosseini, Chairman of the Reform Association Morteza Haji, member of the central committee of the Labor Islamic Party (LIP) Hossein Kamali, former energy minister Habibollah Bitaraf, and former deputy interior minister Ashraf Borujerdi.
In a press conference next week, Musavi-Lari will elaborate on the aims and plans of the reformists for the parliamentary elections.
... Payvand News - 8/2/07 ... --