Leaders of Iran

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Hassan Ghafurifard said that justice will be able to solve most of the problems faced by our people

RFE/RL Iran Report:
11 June 2001
"YOUTH SUPPORT ESSENTIAL FOR VICTORY. About 66 percent of the Iranian population is above the age of 15, or old enough to vote, and it is estimated that at least half the population is under 30. Moreover, 69 percent of the voters in the 15-24-year-old range favored the incumbent, President Mohammad Khatami, according to a pre-election poll of 500 Tehran voters conducted by Zogby International. All of the country's opinion-makers and political leaders recognized the importance of the large block of youth voters, and the presidential candidates tried to appeal to them.

Khatami dropped by a 1 June meeting of the Office for Strengthening Unity, which is the country's biggest pro-Khatami student group, and told the 300 people there that "[t]oday, the student movement should push ahead with reforms patiently to bring about independence and freedom in Iran."

Several of the other candidates participated in a "Students and the 2001 Elections" conference at Tehran University on 30-31 May. Ahmad Tavakoli told the assembled students that he was not a member of any political faction, and he intended to solve the country's economic problems by eliminating corruption and facilitating development. He would reduce governmental involvement in national affairs, Tavakoli added, while increasing oversight of government contracts with foreign entities. Hassan Ghafurifard said that justice, respect for intellectuals, and domestic security, when combined with rich natural resources and good facilities, "will be able to solve most of the problems faced by our people." Ghafurifard complained about the country's factional bickering, too.

Mansur Razavi told the audience that a "solidarity government" was needed to bring all the factions together, and a democracy based on religious values would settle many of Iran's problems. Saying that economic reforms should come first, Mustafa Hashemi-Taba described himself as an experienced "pro-left" figure under whose watch as industries minister over 1,000 factories opened, and during his time as vice president for physical training, 15 sports complexes opened. For Iran to achieve progress and prosperity, Shahabedin Sadr told the students, the country needs "youth-oriented executive management," political calm, national solidarity, and social welfare.



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