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Iran: Khatami barred from making campaign speech in Shiraz

Report by Press TV

A Principalist provincial official has banned Former President Mohammad Khatami from making a scheduled speech in Shiraz. Khatami has announced that he will be running in the upcoming June's presidential election.

Shiraz Governor Ebrahim Azizi warned that if the former Iranian president came to the city to make a presidential campaign speech, the security council of the city would not be ready to deal with the unpredictable consequences of such an event.

Azizi made the remarks after the reformist former president's campaign headquarters announced that he planned to travel to Shiraz to visit the Shah Cheraq Shrine and give a speech to the people at the shrine on Thursday.

Khatami announced his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election in early February.

Azizi added that the Shiraz security council evaluated Khatami's request and decided to not allow the former president to deliver a speech in the city due to the possibility of traffic problems.

According to Article 10 of Iran's Law on Parties, candidates who want to make campaign speeches in roofed spaces are not required to obtain a permit from security officials.

Former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, who heads the reformist National Confidence Party, and Khatami are the only two candidates from the reformist camp who have officially announced they are running for president.

Karroubi leveled criticism against the government after he was barred from delivering a presidential campaign speech at Gorgan University.

The former Majlis speaker vowed that he would not allow such measures to undermine his campaign. "We will continue to campaign with determination; we will speak to the people on the streets if they don't let us enter universities," Karroubi asserted.

Most pundits believe incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be the standard-bearer of the Principlist camp, which will be facing off against the reformists in the country's June 12 presidential election.

... Payvand News - 03/05/09 ... --

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