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Tehran mayor not to throw in the towel

Source: Press TV

Tehran's municipality has denied reports claiming that Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf has stepped down as the mayor of Iran's capital.

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.

JahanNews, a website close to the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed on Saturday that ongoing disputes between the mayor and the administration had led the mayor to resign.

The Principlist government's reluctance to supply municipality projects with the much needed cement and other materials was cited as the main reasons behind Qalibaf's resignation.

"Mr. Qalibaf has not stepped down and he will continue to tolerate the government's ill-treatment and negligence," spokesman, Hadi Ayazi, said on Sunday.

The mayor, known to be an outspoken critic of the Ahmadinejad administration, says the ninth government has missed a "golden opportunity" to use skyrocketing oil prices to reform the state-controlled economy.

The 47-year-old academic, politician and former police chief, 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 capital, Tehran.

Qalibaf is said to be contemplating to run for Iran's upcoming presidential elections under the banner of a "coalition government" advocating a collective decision in governing the country rather than a one-man-agenda.

Former foreign minister Ali-Akbar Velayati, and Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei have also been considered to have high chances of running the coalition government.

... Payvand News - 03/29/09 ... --

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