Source: Press TV
Principlist hopeful Mohsen Rezaei says Iranians
are at their wits end trying to deal with the many political and economic
problems facing the country.
Rezaei, a former Iranian commander who is a senior member to the influential Expediency Council, said the Iranian nation "is fed up with the current circumstances in the country" and lack of governmental action on a host of internal and foreign issues.
He said the time has come for Iran to close ranks with regional countries in order to have a greater say in the developments that occur in the Middle East.
"With [former US president] George W. Bush and [Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hussein out of power, the grounds have been prepared to for Iran to get in on the act and forge bonds with regional countries," said Rezaei.
He criticized the Ahmadinejad government for "doing not nearly enough" to strengthen Iran's strategic position in the region.
"Unfortunately, the government's harsh rhetoric against regional countries which have given rise to tension and conflict in the Middle East," he said.
Iran's presidential elections will take place on June 12. It will be the tenth since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979 ended the reign of the country's pro-US monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the last prime minister of Iran (1981-1989), and Mehdi Karroubi, two-time parliament (Majlis) speaker (1989-1992 and 2000-2004) have also announced their presidential bids.
Mousavi, Karroubi teams warn fans to avoid violence
The representatives of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi in 'the Committee for the Protection of People's Votes' urge the candidates' supporters to avoid violence.
In a joint statement released on Wednesday, Ali-Akbar Mohtashamipour and Morteza Alviri, who respectively represent Mousavi and Karroubi called their supporters to show restraint if "premeditated violent incidents erupt."
On Wednesday and amid reports of clashes between the two candidates' supporters, the figures claimed that some groups are seeking to cerate tension and divide the two camps in the wake of "the growing popularity of the two hopefuls."
The statement said both candidates hold the same stance on the necessity of reform as a national priority, although they believe in different programs and strategies.
They said both camps should welcome the victory of its rival at the first round and that they should support the winner in a possible run-off.
Iran's two candidates have set up the Committee "to assure a healthy election." The initiative, however, has been given a cold reception by the Interior Ministry and the Guardian Council which are legally tasked to endorse elections in the country.
Ahmadinejad says Liberalism 'barbaric'
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad zeroes in on
Western-style Liberal democracy, saying it has resulted devastating consequences
In bold remarks on Wednesday, President Ahmadinejad challenged the bedrock of Liberalism and said it runs counter to the core principles of justice and impartiality.
"From the very beginning, Liberal democracy brought about political and moral consequences throughout the world," said President Ahmadinejad.
"First and most importantly, it has blocked public participation in political decision-making," he continued, adding that Liberalism is in contrast with human rights and a restorative justice approach.
The Iranian president went on to explain that Liberalism destroys "human values and dignity" and therefore can in no way help resolve global issues.
"Under the banner of Liberalism, many have committed barbarities and crimes against humanity without facing any kind of punishment," said President Ahmadinejad.
He cited Israel's efforts to justify its deadly war on Gaza by claiming that it sought 'self-defense' as an example of 'destructive Liberalism'.
"Western Liberalism has most evidently reached its end," said Ahmadinejad, who has signed up to seek another four years of presidency in the June 12 elections.
The incumbent Iranian president will be challenged by a number of political heavyweights, including Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the last Iranian prime minister, Mehdi Karroubi, a former Parliament speaker, and Mohsen Rezaei, a former senior military commander.
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