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To run or not to run, that is the question for Khatami


Source: Press TV, Photos by Saman Aghvami, ISNA

Mohammad Khatami at Tehran University stresses that his bid for presidency counts on how far it can push justice and democracy in the country.

Addressing a host of students on Monday, Seyyed Mohammad Khatami said any candidate for the upcoming presidential vote must be able to determine to what extent the present mechanisms permit him to implement his plans.

The former Iranian president highlighted that "in case the possibility of implementing plans does not really exist... even the best and most comprehensive plans would fall flat on face when put into practice."

"I personally believe presidential hopefuls should be those who have audacious plans and pursue an innovative approach in the political scope," Khatami added.

In his Monday address, the 65-year-old Reformist also praised the incumbent Iranian administration for its concerted attempts to hold talks with US officials. He however lamented Americans' reluctance to come on the stage.

Washington severed diplomatic ties with Tehran following the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

Iran's former president nevertheless criticized Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's administration for its 'economic policies'.

Khatami said that under his reformist administration Iran's annual inflation rate stood at 11.5 % while crude oil was traded at $9 per barrel at times. He then sought to know Iran's present inflation rate with oil prices at an average of $90 per barrel throughout the tenure of the current government.

Official figures from the Central Bank of Iran reveal that annual inflation stood at 29.4 percent in the twelve months that ended in September. Some economists predict that the current situation could prompt Tehran to face a serious budget deficit within months due to falling oil prices.

"The current trend doesn't foster development. As a result, menaces such as poverty, discrimination and inequity would grow. It might even pose a real risk to principles of the Islamic Revolution," the former Iranian president warned.

Khatami was Iran's president from 1997 to 2005. There are suggestions that he might run against the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the June 2009 presidential election.

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