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Mousavi: Iran will never halt enrichment


Press TV - Presidential hopeful Mir-Hossein Mousavi says he will push ahead with Iran's nuclear activities and will never halt uranium enrichment.

"No one in Iran will accept suspension," the Financial Times quoted Mousavi as saying in his first interview with the international media.

He said that Iran halted its enrichment work between 2003 and 2005 in the hope that it would build confidence in the peaceful nature of its program.

The Reformist candidate described suspension as a "bad experience and a tool to deprive Iran of having access to nuclear technology".

He said if elected, his policy would be to work to provide "guarantees" that Tehran's nuclear activities would never divert to non-peaceful aims.

The US, Israel and their European allies claim that Iran's uranium enrichment activities are aimed at developing nuclear weapons.

Iran has categorically denied the allegations, saying that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has the right to develop its nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

On Monday, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili expressed the country's readiness to hold dialogue with six major powers aimed at establishing constructive cooperation.

Jalili made the remarks in a telephone conversation with the EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana after he was selected by the P5+1 to invite Iran to a meeting aimed at finding "a diplomatic solution" to its nuclear program.

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the US, Russia, China, France and Britain -- plus Germany (P5+1) made the decision after US President Barack Obama declared that Washington would participate in future talks on Iran's nuclear program.

The 69-year-old Mousavi said that a solution to the nuclear dispute will depend on both Tehran and the discourse the Americans use and the issues they pursue.

"The more realistic they (the US) become and recognize Iran in this issue, naturally the better the ground will be prepared to find solutions," he said.

The former premier added, "No one will retreat. But we have to see what solutions or in other words what guarantees can be found to verify the non-diversion of the program into nuclear weapons."

He, however, stressed that the sides could reach a solution by "technical negotiations".

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday expressed Tehran's readiness to hold talks with the West over its nuclear program should such talks be based on "justice and respect".

Iran has been under UN Security Council sanctions since 2006, over the continuation of its uranium enrichment program.

Uranium -- the fuel for nuclear power plants -- can serve military purposes only when enriched to high levels of above 90 percent.

The UN nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran enriches uranium-235 to a level of "less than 5 percent".

Mousavi, who served as the last prime minister of Iran until the post was abolished, steered the country out of an economic meltdown during the times of economic uncertainty in the 1980s and the eight-year war with Iraq.

Mousavi, who is the president of the Iranian Academy of Arts and teaches political science at Tarbiat Modarres University, announced his candidacy to run for the upcoming presidential election last month and is representing the Reformist camp.

No political figure from the Principlist camp has yet announced candidacy, but incumbent President Ahmadinejad is expected to seek a second term.

The next Iranian presidential elections are scheduled for June 12.

Reformist clerics declare support for Mousavi

TEHRAN, Apr. 13 (Mehr News Agency) - In a meeting on Sunday the reformist Association of Combatant Clerics announced its support to Mir-Hossein Mousavi in the June presidential race. The meeting was headed by former president Mohammad Khatami who withdrew candidacy in favor of Mousavi.

Mousavi elaborated his plans and answered questions by the association members. ACC members evaluated the general condition of the election and urged unity among reformists' rival factions.


Ebtekar doest not rule out presidential candidacy


Ma'soumeh Ebtekar, a former director of the Environment Department, has not ruled out presidential candidacy. In an interview with the Mehr News Agency, she said, "everything is possible." However, she added, "I am still undecided."


So far former conservative MP Raf'at Bayat and political activist Azam Taleqani have expressed their readiness to contest the elections. The Guardian Council spokesman announced on Saturday that there is no "legal restraint" that women run for president.


SCC to hold election meeting


The central council members of the Society of Combatant Clergy will meet on Tuesday night to discuss presidential polls. The SCC has not announced his favored candidate yet and some of its members believe that the society should announce its stance after all political figures declared their definite candidacy and their qualifications approved by the Guardian Council. 


Mousavi reveals his campaign promise  


Presidential hopeful Mousavi announced his campaign promises in his first presidential tour on Monday. Talking to reporters in Ilam province, Mousavi announced his campaign slogans as "Developed Iran with law, justice and freedom".


Majority of principlists will agree on single candidate


Asadollah Badamchian of the Islamic Coalition Party stated on Monday that a majority of principlists will finally reach a consensus on a single candidate. Talking in a gathering of businessmen in Tehran, Badamchian predicted that even those principlist groups or figures who are now discussing alternative candidates will join the majority.


He also noted that principlists should be careful not to nominate different candidates, the Fars News Agency reported.


Women society backs Mousavi


The Islamic Republic Women Society declared on Monday that it supports Mousavi in the presidential race.


The society spokeswoman Farzaneh Mafi said in a meeting on Sunday that the group decided to back Mousavi after many examinations and studies.


Mousavi is a follower of Imam Khomeini and he intends to do reform plans if elected president, she told the Fars News Agency.  


Teachers council declare support for Mousavi


Hasan Khalil-Abadi of the reformist coordination council stated on Monday that Islamic Council of Teachers will back Mousavi. He said the decision came at a meeting of the ICT central council. 


ICT central council will hold a meeting next week with the attendance of Mousavi to discuss presidential issues and national issues, Khalil-Abadi told the Fars News Agency.


Karroubi says will not give up presidential race


Presidential hopeful Karroubi reiterated on Monday that he will not drop out of the presidential bid in favor of Mousavi.


Speaking in city of Abhar in Zanjan province, Karroubi repudiated speculations that he will withdraw candidacy in favor of Mousavi.


He noted that he and Mousavi both believe that they should stay in election scene to make the election atmosphere more enthusiastic.

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