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Karrubi courts the women; Ahmadinejad promises cash again; Mousavi demands lifting of newspaper ban

Source: Press TV

Karroubi to press for womens' rights

Reaching out: Presidential hopeful Mehdi Karroubi
One of the leading presidential candidates, Mehdi Karroubi, promises to press the fight for equal rights for women, if elected.

The former Majlis (parliament) speaker who is running on a reformist ticket, said in a statement on Monday, "Ensuring equality between men and women was one of the aims of the Islamic Revolution, and this desire was reiterated many times by the founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini."

Referring to his adopting of "change' as his campaign slogan, Karroubi's statement said that, "this change cannot be realized except with the restoration of the greatness and the rightful status of women."

"I consider the presence of women in (my) cabinet, as ministers, deputies and presidential advisers as a necessity."

The cleric said that, after the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the first follower of Islam was a woman - Khadijah - and part of Islam's mission was to restore the worth and human value of women."

In an apparent reference to the treatment of some of the organizers of the 'One Million Signatures' initiative for equal rights for women, Karroubi said that he regretted the arrests and intimidation of women activists for defending their rights, and expressed support for women of different political persuasions to hold lawful and peaceful gatherings to present their points of view.

Iran's tenth presidential elections are scheduled for June 12, and Karroubi seems to be the most outspoken advocate of leveling the playing field for women in Iran. He has appointed Jamileh Kadivar - a reformist former Majlis deputy and a women's rights activist - as his adviser for women's affairs.

The elections' supervisory body - the Council of Guardians - is still vetting the hundreds of candidates, but there will likely be a number of women among the final candidates.

Mousavi protests shutdown of Iranian daily

Iranian presidential hopeful Mir-Hossein Mousavi has condemned the closure of the pro-Reformist newspaper Yas-e Now (New Jasmine).

"I condemn the ban imposed on the daily and see it as another example of group closure of newspapers. We must have freedom of speech and press in our society," Mousavi told students at the Yazd Azad University.

Yas-e Now -- first published during Mohammad Khatami's presidential term, reappeared on the newsstands on Saturday only to be promptly shut down following a six-year closure.

Tehran's prosecutor general Saeed Mortazavi said he had ordered the closure so that legal proceedings could begin on whether to impose a prolonged ban on the daily.

Yas-e Now re-launched with the headline Khatami, Mousavi for Iran, showing a large picture of the former president and the former prime minister standing together amongst their supporters.

On February 18, 2004, the Iranian Judiciary banned the newspaper, only one day before the parliamentary election.

The closure came after the paper printed an alleged open letter by 144 outgoing lawmakers to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. The letter criticized the vetting of candidates by the Guardians Council.

The 12-member body, tasked with overseeing parliamentary legislation, has 'approbation supervision' rights, which give it the power to disqualify a candidate prior to or at any stage during an election.

During his Sunday speech in the central province of Yazd, Mousavi also took a swipe at state media, saying media outlets have 'not broadcast candidate adverts' in the lead-up to the elections.

Asked about the Nehzat-e Azadi political party, which is not officially recognized and has been banned by the Guardians Council from contesting elections, Mousavi responded that nothing could compel him to say that its members must be denied their citizenship rights.

Although I disagree with them on some points, they should not be considered foremost as the followers of Nehzat-e Azadi but citizens of the Islamic Republic, he said.

Ahmadinejad vows to sell oil shares if elected

Iran's incumbent president makes a pledge to offer all Iranians a share in profits from the oil industry if he is elected to make a comeback to office.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday said a rise in the level of Iran's oil production has allowed for a fully-domestic management of the industry.

The incumbent president, who is seeking a second four-year term in the June 12 elections, went on to talk about a new plan to integrate the Iranian nation in the management of the country's oil industry.

"Under this plan, bonds will be issued offering oil industry profits to the entire nation and Iranians all over the world," President Ahmadinejad told reporters on the sidelines of an oil industry seminar.

The Principlist hopeful said the plan to sell shares would enable the government to finance Iran's oil and gas projects and would pass the profits of the industry on to the nation.

"This plan will decrease our dependence on others for financing oil projects," he added.

The incumbent president won the 2005 elections, making vows to administer justice in the country and give the country's poor a share in Iran's oil wealth.

President Ahmadinejad's rival camp -- Reformists -- has criticized him on many occasions accusing him of "heightening the country's economic plight."

Reformist Mehdi Karroubi's campaign manager Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi gave the incumbent Principlist president a dressing-down earlier in May, saying he "fueled economic inequality" among individuals and groups within the Iranian society under the pretext of "administering justice".

... Payvand News - 05/19/09 ... --

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