Leaders of Iran

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Mohsen Rezaei clarifies Comments on Khatami 2001

EC secretary Mohsen Rezaei clarifies earlier remarks: "EC secretary Mohsen Rezaei clarifies earlier remarks

Tehran, March 18, IRNA -- Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei here Sunday elaborated on his recent remarks over President Mohammad Khatami's running in the next presidential elections.
Asked why he was concerned about President Khatami's presence on the scene, he said while a group of Khatami's friends are worried about his success in the presidential elections others are concerned about his post-election success in the next four years.

"I am concerned about Mr. Khatami's success in the next four years for two reasons. Firstly his lack of success in the next four years will harm the Islamic system, the cleric and the society as Mr. Khatami has intertwined his identity with Islam and the people and experience has shown that he would not deviate from the path of Islam and the people," said Rezaei.

He said the second reason is that lack of success for Khatami will harm his own prestige and identity. Therefore, he added, if Khatami is to run in the next presidential election he had better plan for his success in the next four years.

On changes in his opinion about President Khatami's participation in the upcoming presidential elections, the EC secretary said the president's recent report to the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) made him worried as there can be two interpretations from it.

First of all, the president does not intend to run for president and secondly he is to participate in the elections but has no plan to change his previous programs, he said.

Rezaei further remarked that an opinion poll today indicates that people want an improvement in the cultural and economic situation and politics comes as their next priority. However, he added, four years ago the situation was different.

He said President Khatami can either adopt political development as a target or as a basis for cultural and economic evolution in the country.

In case the president opts for the first, he would definitely fail but if he selects the second choice he would come out successfully, Rezaei said.

However, he added, Khatami is the most proper candidate for the next presidential elections and his participation will be beneficial for the society and the system but not at any cost.

Some people believe they should encourage Khatami to run for president in order to preserve their own status, said Rezaei, adding that Khatami is a proper candidate for the next four years if he offers a plan for economic, cultural and administrative change.

Rezaei's brother, Omidvar, on Saturday said his brother is calling on President Mohammad Khatami to seek re-election.

Mohsen Rezaei on Friday told IRNA that it is better for Khatami not to run in the June polls in order not to ruin the fruits of his first term in office during the second term.

Omidvar Rezaei said his brother is staunchly in favor of Khatami for a second term in office.

Under the Iranian constitution, a president cannot serve more than two four-year terms. The presidential election is less than three months away on June 8.

Reformist parties and groupings have built pressure on Khatami to stand for June presidential elections.

Meanwhile, in a statement Friday, pro-reform Islamic Revolution Mujahideen Organization called on President Khatami to run for president in the upcoming elections.



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