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Tehran Mayor: A New Face of 'Change'

Source: Press TV

Conservative in a leather jacket

The New Statesman - The mayoralty of Tehran was the springboard to the Iranian presidency for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - and it could work the same way for his successor. Ahmadinejad ran Iran's chaotic capital for two years, curtailing many of the freedoms introduced by the reformist administration that preceded him, before he was elected president in June 2005. Now, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf - the current mayor, a defeated candidate in the 2005 elections, and one of Ahmadinejad's greatest political rivals - has revived his ambitions for the presidential race of 12 June 2009.
A British magazine that in 2005 said Barack Obama would ensure change has unveiled Tehran's mayor as a candidate for "changing the world".

"We offer a strongly political list of leaders of varying ethnicity and continent, people who will or who already are making changes in the US, Britain, South Africa and Iran," the New Statesman said on Sunday about its Ten people who could change the world list.

Describing Tehran's mayor, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, as the "conservative in the leather jacket", the magazine contends that the 47-year-old academic, politician and former police chief is "a man prepared to initiate conversation with the West".

Qalibaf is currently contemplating on whether to run in the country's10th presidential elections scheduled for June 12, 2009.

He contested the presidency on the Principlist platform in 2005 but his bid was ended by a run-off between incumbent Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Qalibaf came fourth in the 2005 elections.

Shortly afterwards, the former police chief was appointed as the mayor of Iran's mega capital, Tehran.


Qalibaf, who had served as a high-level Iranian military commander during the Iraq war against Iran, was crowned in October 2008 as the world's eighth best mayor from a short list of 50 top city leaders.

Qalibaf says the Principlists have a fighting chance of winning Iran's 2009 race for the presidential palace.

In 2005, before the presidential campaigns for the 2008 US elections were set up, the journal's list on ten world changes had only "one out-and-out politician: Barack Obama, potential savior of the US Democrats".

Other people on the currently released list for 2010 include:

1. Chuka Umunna, a 30-year-old British lawyer and prospective parliamentary candidate for Streatham
2. Bobby Jindal, the Indian American governor of Louisiana
3. Regina Papa, Indian Educationalist and social activist
4. Xian Zhang, 35-year-old Chinese music conductor
5. Joshua Foer, 25-year-old writer and US 'memory champion'
6. Athene Donald, professor of experimental physics at Cambridge University
7. Laura Robson, British tennis player
8. Mosiuoa Lekota, president of the Congress of the People, South Africa's new opposition party
9. James Thornton, chief executive of American charity ClientEarth that takes up legal battles to protect the environment.

... Payvand News - 02/10/09 ... --

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