Leaders of Iran

Thursday, December 02, 2004

MEI Perspective: The Landscape of Factional Politics In Iran

MEI Perspective: "The Landscape of Factional Politics In Iran
by Hossein Seifzadeh, August 20, 2002
The Bush Administration's July 12 statement of support for "the Iranian people" and reporting in the New York Times and elsewhere suggests that the White House has given up on the ability of reformist politicians like Iranian President Mohammad Khatami to alter Iran's foreign policy orientation. But before the United States turns away from its attempts to engage Iran, it would do well to learn more about the factions that govern Iranian politics today. A clearer understanding of the domestic balance of power in Iran would prompt more thoughtful US policy, including, when appropriate, a policy of saying nothing at all.

Contrary to the disappointment of the US administration over the pace of reform in Iran, a deeper analysis demonstrates that Iranian society is increasingly becoming modern and diverse. As a result, fundamentalists are on the decline, transitionalists are in search of self-definition, and modernizing forces are becoming increasingly popular. Within such a mixed context of rapid change, it is normal that factionalism has become a basic feature of Iranian politics, easily creating confusion among those who are new to the dynamics of Iranian politics. This essay closely examines the power distribution, the philosophical or ideological teachings and the dynamics of competition between and among political factions in Iran.

Political Factions in Iran

While the electoral process in Iran is still tightly controlled by fundamentalists opposed to reform, there have been important changes in the character of the Islamic Republic since 1979. In fact, the electoral process in Iran has given rise to four unique eras, or Republics: the Liberal-Nationalist Republic, the Fundamentalist Islamic Republic, the Pragmatist Republic, and the Reformist Republic. In all these eras, except that of the Reformists, one social stratum achieved hegemonic status, while others were marginalized. But even the fundamentalists, with their power over the electoral process, have been unable to sustain total control of the Iranian political system at least by now.

Today, for the first time, there is a balance of power between two rival factions: Fundamentalists and Reformists. The former has the structural power within the state, the latter has the power of popular support, and the pragmatists play a balancing role between them. Unfortunately, if the current US policy of sanctions combined with rhetorical support for reform is continued, there is a high probability that reform and the reformers will suffer. They will lose their popularity on two counts: on the one hand, they will be accused of implementing "hostile US policies" in Iran, since the US claims to support them. On the other hand, continuing sanctions will prevent them from improving day-to-day life as they have promised to do. They will thus lose all credibility with the Iranian public that elected them to office.

Because of the US claim of support for the reformist movement, the Council of Guardians is determined to avoid further electoral successes by reformists in the future. To implement this scheme, they plan to disperse their supervising organizations across the country in order to build prior understanding of the ideological orientations of would-be candidates in local districts. Reformist candidates will then face a terrible choice: they will either water down their agendas during the campaign and lose their popularity, or they will be disqualified from running by Council of Guardians.

In addition, the Expediency Council is contriving to expand the supervisory role of the Supreme Leader over all three branches of the government, using the Expediency Council as a tool. If these fundamentalist schemes succeed, the Islamic Republic will turn into a patriarchal Islamic government in the short-term, just as the fundamentalists desire. However, in the longer run, Islamic government can be expected to pave the way for another round of instability in the region, perhaps through a fascist or ultranationalist revolution.

Popularity and Power Distribution among Factions in Iran

In the last presidential election, 78.3% of the vote went to the reformists, including the pragmatist party Kargozarane Sazandegi (Agents for Construction), and 15.9% went to the fundamentalists, including another pragmatist party, E'tedal Va Tose'eh, (Moderation and Development) that was in an implicit coalition with the fundamentalists.

Power distribution in Iran, however, does not reflect the popular vote. Even with 78.3% of the electoral vote, reformists have still limited structural power. Traditional economic and cultural sources of power, plus unelected institutions controlled by the fundamentalists, restrict the reformists' ability to exercise power in the institutions they control: the Majlis (parliament), the presidency, and the city councils. And 70% of the highest official positions in the state bureaucracy are filled by appointment, generally by fundamentalists.

Implicit in the electoral statistics is the disenchantment of a sizeable 33% of the population, those who refused to vote in the 2001 presidential election. Dissatisfaction with the efficiency of reform is considerably on the rise. In a 2001 national survey, 90.5% supported either reform or fundamental change in political processes. This reservoir of popular support for reform and/or fundamental change is a challenge to the fundamentalists, who crave popular acceptance, and far less against the efficiency of the reformists. But the bloc of disenchanted voters threatens to grow larger if the reformists continue to be stymied in their attempts to change domestic policy. The growing number of frustrated voters thus presents a challenge to both of the contending factions, territorial integrity of the nation, and stability of the region.

Factions that Support the Idea of an Islamic Government or Islamic Republic


Fundamentalism originated from two different social strata in Iran: modernizing and traditional. Thanks to a very deep education and cultural transformation, the modernizing fundamentalists of the past are the reformists of today. The current ideologically fundamentalist faction in Iran has a traditional social base. Due, however, to the immense social changes in Iran over the past two decades, the traditional fundamentalists have receded and lost their popular support. Nonetheless, they still have sufficient structural power to impede the processes of modernization and democratization being advocated by the reformists.

Fundamentalists support a patriarchal Islamic government, in which popular sovereignty is void. They seek to preserve what they view as a traditional lifestyle, characterized by the politicization of Islamic concepts of law and society, the primacy of the military, and the preservation of the wealth of traditional merchants. Politically, the fundamentalists are organized through the Society of Assertive Clerics (Jame'eh Rohaniyate Mobarez, or JRM) and the Society of Instructors of the Seminaries (Jame'eh Modarresin Hoze Elmieh), which is the core cultural group among fundamentalists. A modified version of their views is reflected in their daily newspaper, Entekhab.

There are two other influential fundamentalist associations as well. The first, which represents the traditionalist merchants of the bazaar, is politically organized in the Board of Islamic Coalition (Heyate Mo'talefeh Eslami, or BIC). The second is the tightly organized Society of Muslim Engineers (Jame'eh Eslami Mohandesin). Each of these two groups publishes a daily newspaper that conducts relentless attacks on reformist figures. Moreover, they try to educate their own forces through new, modern universities that are tightly controlled and free from governmental supervision. Various colleges and universities have been established in the seminaries of the city of Qom and by their representatives in Tehran. The most influential ones are Imam Sadegh University, controlled by JRM, and the Islamic Azad University which is the largest and widespread across the country. Thanks to the unwavering support of the financially and legally strong BIC - the strongest non-clerical fundamentalist group in Iran - the officials of this university do need to abide by academic rules set by Ministry of Higher Education.

In addition to their hegemonic positions in seminaries and the Old Bazaar, fundamentalists benefit from their appointments to high positions at various endowments (bonyads), economic institutions, armed forces, the judiciary and the executive branch. These appointments include six clerical members of Council of Guardians; the clerical members of the Council of Experts; the leaders of Friday prayers; the clerics in the "Propagation Organization," which is responsible for publicizing Islamic values; senior judgeships; the Chamber of Commerce; and other positions appointed by the Supreme Leader.

Fundamentalist Policy Preferences

The domestic politics of fundamentalists are more congruent with totalitarianism, though they are unable to implement its principles within the current political system. In foreign policy, this faction capitalizes on radical approaches towards Israel and relations with the West in general and the United States in particular. For them, closer relations with the West will promote modernizing sectors of society, at their expense. They oppose foreign investment, again since it builds the reformists' power base while damaging the traditional economic interests of fundamentalist allies. In other, less sensitive, sectors of the economy, however, they would like to curtail government interference.


The pragmatists are an elitist authoritarian faction, mainly inspired by the intellectual work of economic professors at Shahid Beheshti University. They believe in economic modernization from above, but have no evident interest in the democratization of politics.

The pragmatists organize themselves in two different parties, both supporting former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani. Rafsanjani's two daughters are founding members of the two parties. Both parties are made up of technocrats who support bureaucratic authoritarianism, but they differ on cultural issues. Hezbe Kargozaran Sazandegi supports the Reformists' open approach to culture. By contrast, Hezbe E'tedal va Tose'eh's views toward culture are more congruent with the fundamentalists: they believe in at least a partially closed society. Both parties are economically modern and organized politically to fill the centrist gap between the extremes of the reformist and fundamentalist factions. They do not take positions on sensitive issues such as democratization of the society, Iran-US relations or the Arab-Israeli issue, but do favor technical and economic relations with the West, including the United States.

The presiding members of Hezbe Kargozaran Sazandegi include the former mayor of Tehran, Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi, the governor of Central Bank, Mohsen Nour Bakhsh, the former Minister of Guidance, Atta'ollah Mohajerani, and former vice-president Mohsen Hashemi Taba. Rafsanjani's daughter, brother and nephew also figure prominently in the party.

During the heated electoral debates between seven presidential candidates in 2001, Rafsanjani and the Hezbe Kargozaran Sazandegi tilted towards an alliance with the pro-Khatami reformist platform. Due to the critical stances of some leading reformists against Rafsanjani's non-democratic approach to reform, his second daughter, Fatemeh, alongside with other pragmatists such as Mahmoud Vaezi (the former deputy foreign mimister) and Hossein Kamali (former labor minister), who are loyal to her father, set up the Hezbe E'tedal va Tose'eh.


The reformist camp is the intellectual force in Iranian politics. They support the democratization of Iran and peaceful interaction with the outside world. They split into idealist and realist schools of thought.

Idealists believe in economic interdependence, the coexistence of diverse cultures, and political interactions within a universal global civilization. They therefore root their foreign policy doctrine in the concept of a Dialogue Among Civilizations and look towards a "coalition for peace."

Realist reformists, by contrast, believe in an institutional balance of power in domestic politics and political deterrence in international politics. They perceive important international threats, but distinguish themselves from the fundamentalists by arguing that political rather than military means should be used to fend off these threats. With respect to the Arab-Israeli issue, both groups of reformists advocate a two-state solution supported by the United Nations, and believe that any political settlement must be both just and determined by the Palestinians themselves. They favor a balanced relationship with the United States, based on mutual interests, and far from the patron-client relationship that existed in the past.

Reformists are united in their support for a pluralist, democratic political system, but the idealists emphasize the promotion of civil society in Iran while the realists believe in a balance of power in domestic politics. Generally, they are inspired by the romantic sociology of Ali Sharia'ti and wisdom of modern and post-modern Iranian thinkers, who synthesize Islamic moral concepts with modern Enlightenment political philosophy, and argue that there is no inherent tension between democracy and an Islamic society.

Today, reformist thinkers find a home in the Department of Political Science at Tehran University, in Tarbiat Modarres University, and in the works of such thinkers as Abdol-Karim Soroush and Mohammad Mojtahed Shabastari. Many young clerics are attracted to this reading of Islam, based simultaneously on scientific rationality, philosophical wisdom, and spiritual Gnosticism.

The reformist camp is very diverse. The most liberal amongst them is the Participation Front Party, led institutionally by Mohammad Reza Khatami, the president's brother, and intellectually by Sa'eed Hajjarian and his associates. The second-most influential and disciplined party is the Organization of Strivers of the Islamic Revolution (Sazmane Mojahedine Enghelab Eslami). The third non-clerical group is the Solidarity Party (Hezbe Hambastegi), whose major leading figure is Ibrahim Asgharzadeh, one of the leaders in the hostage-taking fiasco. Asgharzadeh now asserts that such action is detrimental to world peace and hence inappropriate in diplomatic relations. Indeed, many leading reformists are now critical of their own radical fundamentalism in the immediate aftermath of the 1979 revolution.

Amongst the reformists, the least modern group is the Association of Assertive Clerics (Majma'e Rohaniyoune Mobarez, not to be confused with the fundamentalist Society of Assertive Clerics). This group is mainly affiliated with Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who has been under house arrest by the regime for the past few years, and Ayatollah Jalal Taheri, whose recent public letter of resignation from the Friday prayer leadership made him the target of harsh attacks by fundamentalists. As a cleric who supports a post-modern perspective on Islam, Iranian President Khatami stands out among this group.


In sum, the reformists support a transition to a democratic pluralist state, pragmatists promote bureaucratic authoritarianism, and fundamentalists favor a more totalitarian approach to politics. Currently, the two extremes are evenly matched, and only the pragmatists' interest in economic development and social modernization keeps them from indulging wholeheartedly in the intensive, scholastic debates over the future of the Islamic Republic. It is this balance of power and the stasis it has induced that are interpreted by some American observers as Khatami's inability to implement reform. The American policy of rhetorical support for reformists and simultaneous maintenance of sanctions is perhaps the most incapacitating factor now affecting the reformist movement. Because the reformists lack structural power, rhetorical support from outside only increases their vulnerability.

The ultimate outcome of this drawn-out factional battle will determine Iranian foreign policy as well as domestic developments. Those interested in understanding the dynamics of Iranian politics would do well to pay attention to the outlines of this factional battle in Iran.

Given the internal balance of power between the three factions, perhaps the best the United States can do right now is take a hands-off attitudes toward domestic factional politics in Iran, and try to capitalize instead on the shared strategic interests of both countries. Iran's pressing strategic interests are something that all the Iranian factions can agree on, and thus present the best hope for constructive US-Iranian dialogue.

But there is also an Iranian form of "constructive engagement" that could shift the internal balance between the popular reformists and the powerful fundamentalists. While there is little American rhetoric can do to change politics in Iran, its leverage is far more meaningful. Iran has applied for consideration to join the World Trade Organization, and its faltering economy is desperate for international investment to help create jobs for its overwhelmingly youthful population. Growing economic ties to the West could create new private wealth in Iran, which would significantly reduce the appeal of xenophobic arguments and the leverage of the fundamentalist parties. Commercial ties to the outside world would also reinforce Iran's increasing social openness. In this way, rather than through declarations of support for the Iranian people, the United States could encourage constructive change in Iranian politics.

Hossein Seifzadeh is a scholar-in-residence at the Middle East Institute and a fellow at the Center for Middle East Studies of Harvard University until September 2002. He is a professor of political science at the University of Tehran.

The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect those of the Middle East Institute, which does not take a position on Middle East Issues. "

110 Iranian parties and political groups Jul. 30, 2000,

: "Khorassan; Social & Political (Daily)
Jul. 30, 2000, No. 14759
Page: 4
Word Count: 2482

Summary: So far 110 parties and political groups have received license from the Parties Article 10 Commission. The following is the list of 94 of them as published in Khorassan daily. The paper says the other 16 groups are newly established and their details are not available.

(The date is the date of the license, the names are the members of the founding boards)

1. Jam`iyat-e Zanan-e Jomhuri-e Eslami-e Iran (IR of Iran Women Society), 02/07/1989;

Zahra Mostafavi, Marziyeh Hadidchi (Dabbagh), Robabeh Rafiei-Taari (Fayyazbakhsh), Fatemeh Iranmanesh, Sediqeh Moqaddasi, Qodsiyeh Firoozan, Soheila Jelodarzadeh and Fatemeh Tabatabaei.

2. Majma-e Rowhaniyoun-e Mobarez (Militant Clerics League), 02\07\1989;

Mahdi Karrubi, Seyed Aliakbar Mohtashami, Seyed Mohamadali Abtahi, Abdolvahed Mussavi-Lari, Majid Ansari, Assadollah Bayat, Seyed Mohammad Khatami, Rasul Montajabnia, Sadeq Khalkhali-Givi, Seyed Mahmoud Doaei, Seyed Mohamadreza Tavassoli.

3. Jam`iyat-e Fadaian-e Eslam (Islam Devotees Society), 02\07\1989;

Mohamadmehdi Abdekhodaei, Mohamadali Lavassani, Seyed Mohammad Mirdamad-Esfahani, Mohamadreza Niknam-Amini, Seyed Javad Vahedi-Bodla, Seyed Hassan Mortazavi, Asghari Omri, Ali Bahar-Hamedani, Mohamadmehdi Farju.

4. Kanoon-e Honarmandan va Nevissandegan-e Mosalman (Muslim Artists & Writers Center), 02/07/1989;

Morteza Heidari, Farzin Negaarestan, Seyed Mohamadbaqer Fadavi, Adham Zarqaam, Beitollah Sattarian, Seyed Amir Mansouri, Abulqassem Kaakhi, Alireza Noroozi-talab.

5. Jame-e Rowhaniat-e Mobarez-e Tabriz (Tabriz Militant Clergy Association), 18/08/1989;

Seyed Hossein Mussavi-Tabrizi, Mohammad Imaani-Yaamchi, Mohammad Karimi, Seyed Razi Balaaghi, Qodrat Shojaie, Najaf Aqazadeh-Astarkaan, Esshaq Forootan, Mohammad Rohanizadeh, Ezzat Lahooti.

6. Hezb-e Hedayat-e Eslami (Islamic Guidance Party), 19/01/1990 [collapsed in 1996];

Aliakbar Khoshru, Seyed Hossein Abtahi, Ebrahim Heidari, Alireza Allahdaadi, Dariyoush Zargari, Ebrahim Shams, Mohamadrza Taalebian.

7. Kanoon-e Faregholtahsilan-e Shebhi Qarrehi Hend (Center for Graduates From Indian Subcontinent), 19/02/1990;

Manouchehr Mottaki, Seyed Mehdi Nabizadeh, Abbasali Taslimi, Javad Salimi, Mehdi Mohtashami, Seyed Ahmad MirJafar-Tafti, Anosheh Gilaninejad, Massoud Mohamadzamani, Mohammad Assadi-Taari

8. Jam`iyat-e Mo`talefehi Eslami (Islamic Coalition Society), 11/12/1990:

Habibollah Asgarowladi, Assadollah Badamchian, Seyed Asghar Rokhsefat.

9. Kanoon-e Eslami-e Mohandessin (Engineers Islamic Center), 11/12/1990;

Gholamreza Abdollahi, Majid Habibian, Mokhtar Matinrazm, Aliasghar Khashehchi, Mostafa Noori-Latif, Mohamadhassan Najafi-Qodsi, Mohamadhassan Tavallaie, Ahmad Roshanfekr-Raad.

10. Kanoon-e Vali-e Asr (Vali-Asr Center), 26/02/1991;

Ramazan Jannati-Razavi, Hassan Amiri-Qariyehali, Mohammad Sohrabi, Hassan Rashidi-Taashkuie, Mohamadali Khorassani, Aliakbar Amiri, Mohamadali Hakimi, Gholamreza Khorassani.

11. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Mo`allemaan-e Iran (Islamic Association of Iranian Teachers), 09/04/l991;

Morteza Katiraie, Asghar Noroozi, Movahednia, Abbas Douzdouzani, Goharolsharieh Dastgheib.

12. Jame-e Eslami-e Mohandessin (Islamic Association of Engineers), 28/05/1991;

Hassan Ghafoorifard, Mohamadreza Bahonar, Seyed Mohsen Behfar, Seyed Morteza Nabavi, Seyed Mojtaba Shohreh-hashemi, Gholamhossein Amiri.

13. Anjoman-e Mohandesaan-e Iran (Association of Iranian Engineers), 01/10/1991;

Rahmatollah Khossravi, Mohamadreza Behzadian, Alimohamad Ahmadi, Seyed Hassan al-Hosseini, Karim Malekasa, Ahmad Kabiri, Mohsen Nariman, Mohammad Qomi.

14. Saazeman-e Mojahedin-e Enqelab-e Eslami-e Iran (Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization), 01/10/1991;

Mohammad Salaamati, Behzad Nabavi, Hossein Sadeqi.

15. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Modarressin-e Daneshgaha (Islamic Association of University Tutors), 10/11/1991;

Najafqoli Habibi, Alireza Saffarian, Mahmoud Saremi, Davood Soleymani, Qorban Behzadinejad, Mirfazlollah Mussavi.

16. Jame-e Zeinab (S), Zeinab (S.A.) Association, 10/11/1991;

Maryam Zaferani-Behroozi, Manizheh Noubakht, Nafiseh Fayyazbakhsh, Parvin Salimi, Shamsi Moetazedi, Azam Nooshehgol, Nahidazam Ram-panahi, Massoumeh Rezaie-Nazari.

17. Khanehi Kargar (Labor House), 04/01/1992;

Alireza Mahjoob, Hossein Kamali, Ali Rabi`i, Reza Mohamadvali, Mohammad Daneshvar, Esrafil Ebadati, Mahmoud Assadi.

18. Markaz-e Eslami-e Daneshgahian (Islamic Center for University Academicians), 21/04/1992;

Reza Dehqani-Farzaam, Minoo Raastmanesh, Mohamadreza Shirzad, Asghar Zokaie, Majid Qaemian, Bahman Noori, Nasser Derakhshan, Ali Hosseinpour.

19. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Mohandessan-e Zaminshenassi va Ma`dan-e Iran (Islamic Association of Iranian Geologists and Mining Engineers), 26/05/1992;

Hossein Mozafarinejad, Mohamadbaqer Farhadian, Ebrahim Raastaad, Mohamadhossein Ekhtiarabadi, Nematollah Rashidnejad, Mohamadtaqi Karehi, Mohamadjavad Vaezipour.

20. Jame-e Eslami-e Bakhtiyariha (Bakhtiyaris Islamic Association), 26/05/1992;

Assadollah Kian-ersi, Omidvaar Rezaie, Qassem Soleymani, Ali Yussefpour, Qoli Sheikhi, Ali Qanbari, Zabih Karimi, Mohamadreza Mirqaeb.

21. Anjoman-e Faregholtahsilan-e Uroupa, Amrica va Oqyanoussiyeh (Association of Graduates From Europe, America and the Pacific), 04/08/1992;

Mehrdad Fooladinejad, Seyed Hossein Fassihi-Langarudi, Ali Khoshbaaten, Ebrahim Nematipour, Ali Asghari, Hamid Mehdiqoli, Hossein Raqamizadeh, Seyed Amireddin Sadrnejad.

22. Jame-e Eslami-e Farhangian (Educators' Islamic Association), 22/08/1992;

Ezzatollah Dehqani, Mansoureh Farahmandzad, Maryam Zaferani-Behrooz, Manizheh Noubakht, Seyed Abulqassem Raoofian, Ali Farahmandzad, Assadollah Badamchian, Mohammad Elahian.

23. Jame-e Zanan-e Enqelab-e Eslami (Women Association of Islamic Revolution), 24/11/1992;

Azam Alaei-Taleqani, Badrolmolouk Emampour, Parvindokht Yazdanian.

24. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Mohandessin-e Khorassan (Islamic Association of Khorassan Engineers), 24/11/1992;

Aliasghar Azami, Hassan Alijani-Moqaddam, Abbas Amiripour, Ahmad Sheikh-salim, Seyed Mohsen Banihashemi-Chaharom, Ahmad Yarahmadi-Khorassani, Seyed Hashem Banihashemi, Seyed Khalil Mehdizadegan.

25. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Pezeshkan (Islamic Association of Physicians), 20/01/1993;

Aliakbar Velayati, Abbas Sheibani, Dr. Shahrzad, Vahid Dastjerdi, Shahabeddin Sadr.

26. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Jame-e Pezeshki-e Iran (Islamic Association of Iranian Medical Community), 09/04/1993;

Mohammad Farhadi, Ahmadali Noorbaala-Tafti, Hassan Hosseini-Toodeshki, Seyed Mohammad Sadr, Mohamadreza Raahchamani, Omidvaar Rezaie-Mirqaed, Seyed Hossein Fattahi, Mohamadreza Vaez-Mahdavi.

27. Kanoon-e Eslami-e Daneshgahian-e Khorassan (Islamic Center of University Academicians of Khorassan), 01/10/1993;

Mehdi Hassanzadeh, Mohamadali Gandomi, Mehdi Parsa, Hassan Razmi, Seyed Mojtaba Sadat Na`lchian, Mohamad-sadeq Javadihesar, Vali Niknaam-Shaahrak.

28. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Farhangian-e Khorassan (Islamic Association of Khorassan Educators), 01/10/1993;

Ahmad Yarahmadi, Nasrollah Mojtahedpour, Javad Aryanmanesh, Seyed Mohsen bani Hashemi, Seyed Ali Fayyazbakhsh, Gholamhossein Afzali, Gholamnabi Golestani, Aliasghar Khalilzadeh, Azizollah Tavakkoli.

29. Jame-e Anjomanha-ye Islami-e Asnaaf va Bazaar (Association of Islamic Associations of Guilds and Traders), 31/10/1993:

Said Amani, Ahmad Karimi-Esfahani, Mashallah Javaherian, Mahmoud Faqihi-Rezaie, Morteza Kashani-Zarrin, Massoud Zandiyeh, Mohamadhossein Abdolkhaleqi, Ali Rahmani.

30. Anjoman-e Eslami Faregholtahsilan-e Amrica va Canada (Islamic Association of Graduates From America and Canada), 23/11/1993;

Reza Shiva, Farrokh Parsizadeh, Davood Bahrami-Siavoshani, Hamid Nasrollahizadeh, Nasser Soltani, Mansour Khodadadi.

31. Jame-e Islami-e Daneshgahian-e Iran (Islamic Association of Iranian Academics), 30/11/1993;

Ali Abbaspour, Seyed Mostafa Mirsalim, Abbas Sheibani, Reza Maknoon, Karim Zaare`.

32. Jame-e Eslami-e Karmandan (Islamic Association of Employees), 06/06/1994;

Mohamad-sadeq Fayyaz, Nasrollah Mirzaie-Nasir, Hassan Kazempour-Dehkordi, Mostafa Biglar, Ahmadreza Bayat, Seyed Kamal Sajjadi, Mohammad Bokharaie, Rahim Alizadeh-Baarooq.

33. Ettehadiyehi Eslami-e Daneshjooyan va Faregholtahsilan-e Daneshgaha va Mo`assesaat-e Amoozesh-e `Ali (Islamic Union of Students and Graduates From Universities and Colleges of Advanced Education), 09/12/1994:

Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, Mohamadhassan Alipour, Reza Sarafraaz, Mohamadhossein Zarei, Mohammad Salamati [not to be mistaken with Mr Mohammad Salamati of the Islamic Revolution Mojahedin Organization], Seyed Javad Emami.

34. Jame-e Islami-e Kargaran (Islamic Association of Workers), 11/08/1995;

Alireza Saber-Kouchaksaraie, Mostafa Biglar, Abdullah Hamidi, Mohammad Eqbal, Massoud Berahman, Majid Afshari.

35. Jame-e Anjomanha-ye Eslami-e Assnaaf-e Khorassan (Society of Islamic Associations of Khorassan Traders), 15/06/1996;

Ali Shamqadri, Mohamadali Ghaffarian, Massoud Akhavizadeh, Seyed Ali Shoostari, Nasser Moqaddam, Mohamad-ebrahim Vahedian-Azimi, Mohamadhossein Niazmand.

36. Jame-e Eslami-e Dandaanpezeshkan (Islamic Association of Dentists), 12/06/1996;

Nasrollah Eshqyar, Abbas Monzavi, Mohamad-sadeq Ahmadakhondi, Ahmadhossein Nekoofar, Kazem Ashofteh-Yazdi.

37. Jam`iyat-e Eslami-e Vokalaa-ye Daadgostari (Islamic Bar Association), 04/07/1997;

Nabiollah Ahamadloo, Gholamreza Amini, Said Khorshidi, Abazar Mohebbi.

38. Jame-e Eslami-e Daampezeshkan (Islamic Association of Veterinarians); 27/06/1997

Alireza Sadiqi, Mohamadali Akhavizadegan, Mohamadkazem Kuhi, Mohamadali Rad.

39. Anjoman-e Rooznamehnegaaran-e Mosalman (Association of Muslim Journalists), 02/08/1997;

Hossein Shariatmadari, Hossein Entezami, Seyed Mohammad Safizadeh, Seyed Jalal Fayyazi, Abbas Salimi-Namin, Seyed Morteza Nabavi, Mehdi Shojaie, Alireza Mokhtarpour, Mehdi Nasiri.

40. Jam`iyat-e Defaa` az Arzeshha-ye Enqelab-e Eslami (Association for Defense of Values of the Islamic Revolution), 14/10/1997;

Mohammad Mohammadi-Nik, Seyed Ali Ghayouri-Najafabadi, Seyed Aliakbar Abotorabi, Ali Raazini, Ruhollah Hosseinian, Mohamad-sadeq Arabnia, Ahmad Pournejati, Mohammad Shariatmadari, Mohsen Soltani-Shirazi.

41. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Kargaran-e Khorassan (Islamic Association of Khorassan Laborers), 31/01/1998;

Ahmad Tavakkoli-Afshaar, Mahmoud Mohamadi-Thani, Hassan Sadeqi Fatthabaad, Hassan Saidizadeh, Gholamhossein Torkzadeh, Gholamabbas Hamidi, Mohammad Nejati.

42. Kanoon-e Faregholtahsilan-e Azarbaijan-e Gharbi (Center for Graduates From West Azarbaijan), 10/03/1998;

Ali Kamyar, Alireza Siavashpour, Qassem Moridi, Amir Eslamitabaar, Mohsen Baqerzadeh.

43. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Faregholtahsilan-e Daneshkadehi Fanni-e Daneshgahi Tehran (Islamic Association of Engineering Facaulty Graduates of the Tehran University), 13/03/1998;

Ali Asghari, Reza Faraji-dana, Seyed Mehdi Fakhraie, Habibollah Bitaraf, Abdolmajid Shahidi.

44. Anjonman-e Eslami-e Faregholtahsilan-e Daneshkadehi Oloom-e Qazaie va Khadamaat-e Edaari (Islamic Association of Graduates of Law and Administrative Services), 13/03/1998;

Abdolhashem Yaqoobi, Mohamadhassan Pirzadeh, Abbasali Zaare`, Safollah Faghanpour-Azizi, Mohamadhassan Mirzabeigi, Mansour Dastgoshadeh, Aliakbar Mollataba-Elahi.

45. Jame-e Eslami-e Nassehin-e Qom (Qom Islamic Society of Counselors), 13/04/1998;

Hossein Irani, Mohamadali Shar`i, Asghar Abdollahi, Reza Ashtiani-Araqi, Mohammad Khalaj, Aliahmad Mianji, Jafar Emami.

46. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Faregholtahsilan-e Daneshgah-e Tarbiat-e Mo`allem (Islamic Association of Graduates From the Teachers Training University), 30/05/1998;

Yussef Nikimaleki, Yaqoob Siminrooy, Abbas Mirgalooie-Bayat, Kobra Alipour, Mostafa Monssef, Hossein Salehi.

47. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Faregholtahsilan-e Filipin (Islamic Association of Graduates From the Philippines), 01/06/1998;

Mohamadreza Nezamdoust, Ali Abedzadeh, Parviz Jeihooni, Ahmad Makhmali, Hojjatollah Bakhtiyary.

48. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Faregholtahsilan-e Italia (Islamic Association of Graduates From Italy), 01/06/1998;

Seyed Mohamadbaqer Hosseini, Mohamadhassan Qadiri-Abyaneh, Hojjat Bahrami, Qodratollah Karbalaie, Hassan Haaj-najjari, Hossein Madadi.

49. Majma-e Namaayandegan-e Advaar-e Mokhtalef-e Majles-e Shoraa-ye Eslami (League of All-Term Majlis Deputies), 01/06/1998;

Aliasghar Rahmani-Khalili, Mohsen Rahami, Asghar Faqih-Aliabadi, Gholamreza Ansari, Zabiollah Safaie.

50. Hezb-e Hambastegi-e Iran-e Eslami (Islamic Iran Solidarity Party), 10/07/1998;

Mohamadreza Raahchamani, Seyed Mahmood Mirlohi, Gholamreza Ansari, Elyass Hazrati, Qodratollah Nazarinia, Aliasghar Abde-ahmadi, Gholamheydar Ebrahimbai-Salami, Seyed Mohammad Hashemi, Qorbanali Qandehari, Seyed Valiollah Tavakkoli.

51. Jam`iyat-e Fadaian-e Rahbar (Society of Devotees of Leader), 21/07/1998;

Nematollah Taqaa`, Abbas Toobaie, Mohamadhossein Roozitalab, Mohamadreza Moshfeqian.

52. Jam`iyat-e Hoqooqdanaan-e Irani-e Modaafe-e Hoqoq-e Bashar (Society of Iranian Laywers Defending Human Rights), 30/08/1998;

Gholamreza Amini, Ghodratollah Noroozi, Fatemeh Hizomi-Araani, Mansour Alizadi, Nabiollah Ahmadloo, Ahmad Arabameri, Said Khorshidi, Abaazar Mohebbi, Hamidreza Dehqanboudeh.

53. Jam`iyat-e Eslami-e Zanan (Islamic Society of Women), 18/10/1998;

Maryam Mohseni, Batool Rangbar-Kohan, Fatemeh Azizabadi, Zahra Azizabadi-Faraahani.

54. Kanoon-e Namaayandegan-e Advaar-e Majles-e Shoraa-ye Eslami (Center for Deputies of Various Terms of Majlis), 08/11/1998;

Ali Mobini-Dehkordi, Alinaqi [Seyed-] khamoushi, Mostafa Naseri, Mohamadhashem Rahbari, Abdollah Noroozi.

55. Jam`iyat-e Khedmatgozaaran-e Sazandegi-e Khorassan (Khorassan Construction Servants Society), 08\11\1998;

Ahmad Yarahmadi-Khorassani, Ghafoor Helmi-Tarfi, Seyed Jalal Fayyazi, Abdollah Koopaie, Seyed Khalil Mehdizadegan, Mohsen Amirian, Mohamadreza Mohseni, Alireza Safari, Gholamhossein Heidari, Mostafa Yaqini, Javad Aryanmanesh, Abdolmajid Helmi, Aliasghar Azami.

56. Majma-e Eslami-e Karmandan-e Khatt-e Emam (Islamic League of Employees Following the Imam Line), 08/11/1998;

Ali Toohidloo, Seyed Hassan Kazemi, Mohamadali Safari, Ramazan Mirzaiepour-Shafi`i, Massoumeh Mohtarami.

57. Jame-e Eslami-e Pezeshkan (Islamic Association of Physicians), 10/11/1998;

Khossro Rahmani, Seyed Ahmadali Kazemi, Amirmahmoud Tafazzoli, Reza Sadeqi.

58. Majma-e Nirooha-ye Khatt-e Emam (League of Imam Line Forces), 10/11/1998;

Seyed Hadi Khamenei, Rahmatollah Khossravi, Ahmad Hakimipour.

59. Jam`iyat-e Tarafdaraan-e Nazm va Qanoon (Society of Advocates of Law & Order), 24/11/1998;

Hossein Tajarloo, Ali Bazm-azmoon, Yussef Sheikhinejad, Ali Movasheh

60. Kanoon-e Eslami-e Ostadaan-e Daneshgahi Tehran (Islamic Center of Tehran University Lecturers), 25/11/1998;

Behzad Moshiri, Karen Abrinia, Mojtaba Shariati-Niyasar, Mohamadhassan Panjehshahi, Hassan Farhangi, Nasser Soltani, Reza Shiva, Seyem Mohamadhossein Pishbin.

61. Jame-e Eslami-e Fareqoltahsilan-e Honar (Islamic Association of Arts Graduates), 25/11/1998;

Abdolhadi Qazvinian, Mohamadjavad Rassaie, Mirlatif Mussavi-Gargari.

62. Jame-e Eslami-e Varzeshkaraan (Islamic Association of Sportsmen), 25/11/1998;

Mahmoud Mashhoon, Seyed Mostafa Mirsalim, Mohamadreza Rahimi, Hassan Ghafourifard, Eidi Alijani, Mohammad Ansari, Seyed Amirahmad Mozafari, Ahmad Nateq-Noori.

63. Majma-e Eslami-e Baanuan (Women Islamic League), 20/12/1998;

Fatemeh Karrubi, Soheila Jelodarzadeh, Soussan Seif.

64. Jam`iyat-e Peirovan-e Velayat-e Faqihi Dashtestan (Association of Followers of Guardianship of Supreme Jurisprudent in Dashtestan), 20/12/1998;

Ali Behbahani, Seyed Esmail Hosseininejad, Mohammad Abedi, Masoud Atashi, Akbar Mohajeri.

65. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Karkonan-e Bimehi Alborz (Islamic Association of Alborz Insurance Employees), 25/12/1998;

Davoodali Shirazi, Hedayat Sadeqi-Arsegah, Maryam Karimi, Alireza Moqarrab, Qorbanali Fatthi-Gerashini.

66. Hezb-e Tamaddon-e Eslami (Islamic Civilization Party), 03/01/1999;

Mohammad Honardoust, Mojtaba Haraati-Nik, Alireza Manzari, Morteza Mahmoudi, Mohammad Motevallian, Mirmehdi Najafi, Hamidreza Elmolhoda, Mohamadali Aqaie.

67. Majma-e Pooyandegan-e Andisheha-ye Eslami (League of Searchers for Islamic Schools of Thought), 09/01/1999;

Mohammad Ashrafi-Mahabadi, Mohamadali Khallaaqpour, Ali Daastaani, Ali Tirdaad, Massoud Shafeizadeh, Eivaz Tizjang, Manouchehr Ebaadi.

68. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Farhangian-e Ostaan-e Qom (Islamic Association of Qom Province Educators), 09/01/1999;

Seyed Yussef Pour-yazdanparast, Taqi Nazeri, Abbas Mohammadi, Gholamreza Rezaiean-Maleki, Seyed Aliasghar Borqei.

69. Anjoman-e Rooznamehnegaaran-e Zan-e Iran (Association of Iranian Female Journalists), 09/01/1999;

Jamileh Kadivar, Ashraf Geraamizadegan, Homeira Hosseini-Yeganeh, Jaleh Faramarzian-Borugeni, Parvaneh Mohhi.

70. Kanoon-e Eslami-e Modaressan-e Marakez-e Tarbiat-e Mo`allem (Islamic Center for Teachers of Teacher-Training Institutions), 14/01/1999;

Ayyoob Vahdatnia, Mohamadreza Hezaveh, Habibollah Jadidi, Tahereh Shaalchian, Mohammad Vakili-Mahallati, Ruhangiz Dorobaati, Tayyebeh Yazdani.

71. Majma-e Daneshjooyan va Fareqoltahsilan-e Gilani (League of Gilaki Graduates and Undergraduates), 19/01/1999;

Behzad Roohi, Seyed Saber Mir-ataie, Sirous Bahramzadeh, Ali Ferdowsi, Shahrokh Ramazan-nejad.

72. Jame-e Daneshjooyan va Fareqoltahsilan-e Kermanshahi (Association of Kermanshahi Graduates and Undergraduates), 19/01/1999;

Hamidreza Samadi-shohreh, Marzieh Mahidashti, Nooshin Mohammadi, Hamid Fadaie, Morad Hosseini, Qodratollah Najafi, Mehdi Rangbar.

73. Hezb-e Islami-e Kar (Islamic Labor Party), 24/01/1999;

Alireza Mahjoob, Soheila Jelodarzadeh, Abdolrahman Tajeddin.

74. Majma-e Eslami-e Fareqoltahsilan-e Daneshgahi Abu Reyhan Birouni (Islamic League of Graduates From University of Abu Reyhan Birouni), 24/01/1999;

Mohammad Jariani, Seyed Abdolhossein Vahedi, Mohamadtaqi Shirkavand, Mohamadreza Sharifnia, Seyed Ahmad Mussavi, Seyed Morteza Sahri, Akbar Hakkakaan.

75. Kannon-e Tarbiat-e Eslami (Islamic Training Center), 24/01/1999;

Hossein Ahmadi, Alireza Baraatian, Yussef Soltani, Mahmoud Farshidi, Nosratollah Taheri.

76. Jam`iyat-e Zanan-e Enqelab-e Eslami (Islamic Revolution Women Society), 24/01/1999;

Zahra Mazloomifard, Sediqehbeigom Hejazi-Taaqaanaki, Sediqeh Tajifard, Nayyereh Qavi, Minakhanoom Behzadi, Kobra Khaz-ali, Hakimeh Jafarinasab-Kermani.

77. Tashakkol-e Eslami-e Fareqoltahsilan-e Lorestani (Islamic Organization of Lorestani Graduates), 29/01/1999;

Ebrahim Baraani-Beiranvand, Ali Mikhak-Beiranvand, Mohammad Sharafi, Bahador Valizadeh, Majid Sabbah, Aliyar Rashidpour, Faroud Hashemi.

78. Majma-e Daneshjooyan va Fareqoltahsilan-e Yazdi (League of Yazdi Graduates and Undergraduates), 18/02/1999;

Ali Afkhami-Fatthabad, Mohamadali Salmaninejad, Mohamadhossein Shariati-nasab.

79. Jam`iyat-e Javanaan-e Enqelab-e Eslami (Youth Society of Islamic Revolution), 18/02/1999;

Seyed Hossein Hosseini, Asghar Abulqassem-Pourkia, Aliasghar Mirzaie.

80. Jam`iyat-e Ansar ul-Mahdi (Ansar ul-Mahdi Society), 19/02/1999;

Khanoom-ozra Ansari, Seyed Mostafa Hosseini, Abdorrahman Ansari.

81. Jam`iyat-e Mostaqel-e Iran-e Eslami (Islamic Iran Independent Society), 19/02/1999;

Qodratali Heshmatin, Javad Baqerzadeh, Ahmadali Amjadian, Ebadollah Fallahi, Fereshteh Heshmatian.

82. Hezb-e Farzandan-e Iran (Children of Iran Party), 19/02/1999;

Jamshid Irani, Mohamadreza Abulhassani, Mohamadtaher Ahangari-Osbouie, Araasb Ahmadian, Behrooz Sabouri-Sobhani, Ali Javadi.

83. Jebhe-ye Mosharekat-e Iran-e Eslami (Islamic Iran Participation Front), 19/02/1999;

Mohamadreza Khatami, Hossein Kashefi, Hossein Nasiri.

84. Kanoon-e Eslami-e Qozzat (Islamic Center for Judges), 19/02/1999;

Mohamadhassan Mirzabeigi, Jamal Qezavati, Mohammad Mohammadi.

85. Kanoon-e Zendanian-e Siasi-e Mosalman-e Doran-e Qabl az Piroozi-e Enqelab (Center for Muslim Political Prisoners Before Victory of Revolution), 08/03/1999;

Seyed Kazem Akrami, Mostafa Barzegar, Ahmadali Borhanifar, Ahmad Hatami-Yazd, Jalal Samsaami-Fard, Hossein Tousi, Mohamadreza Alihosseini-abbasi, Javad Mansouri, Allahkaram Mirzaie.

86. Anjoman-e Modiran va Motekhassesin-e San`ati va Eqtesadi-e Iran (Association of Iranian Industrial and Economic Specialists and Executives), 04/05/1999;

Mohsen Safaie-Faraahani, Morteza Alviri, Morteza Haji, Nourollah Abedi, Seyed Reza Norooz-zadeh.

87. Kanoon-e Hambastegi-e Farhangian-e Iran (Center for Solidarity of Iran Educators), 04/05/1999;

Ali Fa`ezi, Mohsen Ashtiyani-Araqi, Mahmoud Kazemi-Bidhendi, Abbas Eslami-Mofidabad.

88. Kannon-e Farhangi-e Missaq-e Shohada (Cultural Center for Allegiance to Martyrs), 25/05/1999;

Bibiqodsiyeh Seyedi-alavi, Zohreh Erfanian Zeirparvar-Javan, Nayyereh Pourjavad.

89. Jam`iyat-e Isargaran-e Enqelab-e Eslami (Society of Devotees of the Islamic Revolution), 26/07/1999;

Davood Danesh-jafari, Hossein Fadaie, Ali Yussefpour, Abdolhussein Ruholamin, Ali Darabi, Asghar Sabouri, Mojtaba Shakeri, Ahmadali Moqimi.

90. Hezb-e Islami-e Refahi Kargaran (Islamic Labor Welfare Party), 15/08/1999:

Hossein Sarafraz, Abbas Allahyar, Hassan Faraji-Golhin.

91. Majma-e Daneshgahian-e Ostaan-e Golestan (League of Golestan Province Academicians), 05/03/1999;

Hamid Haqshenas, Yahya Samadinejad, Ehsan Maktabi, Massoud Rahnamaie.

92. Hezb-e Kargozaran-e Sazandegi-e Iran (Executives of Construction Party of Iran), 15/08/1999;

Mohammad Hashemi-Bahremani, Ataollah Mohajerani, Mohsen Noorbakhsh, Mohamadali Najafi, Faezeh Hashemi-Bahremani, Hossein Mar`ashi, Reza Amrollahi.

93. Anjoman-e Eslami-e Fareqoltahsilan (Islamic Association of Graduates), 15/08/1999;

Vahid Ahmadi, Mahmoud Nili-Ahmadabadi, Adel Torkaman-Rahmani, Rahmatollah Qajar, Mohamadali Doostari, Seyed Hessameddin Zagardi, Ziaeddin Shoaie.

94. Hezb-e Sa`adat-e Iran (Iran Prosperity Party), 19/05/1999;

Gholamreza Sediqi Ora`i, Hassan Jamshidi, Mohamadjavad Faza`eli-Akhlaqi, Nasser Mohammadi, Seyed Reza Vasse`i, Hossein Rathaie, Hamidreza Qandehariyoun.

95. Hezb-e Esteqlal-e Iran (Iran Independece Party), 09/07/1999;

Secretary Sadeq Shams

frontline: Nateq-Nouri loses 1997 Presidential Race

frontline: terror and tehran: inside iran: by popular demand - iranian elections, 1997-2001 | PBS: "In 1997, the Speaker of Parliament, Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, enjoyed the implicit endorsement of Supreme Leader Khamenei as successor to Iran's outgoing president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Nateq-Nouri was a hojjatoleslam, a clerical rank just below ayatollah, and had been the Minister of the Interior in the 1980s. He had been the Speaker of Parliament since 1992, where conservative deputies like him held the majority. He was, in effect, the third highest ranking official in the Iranian government, after the Supreme Leader and the president.

Nateq-Nouri also had the outright endorsement of the Militant Clergy Society, to which many of the clerical establishment's leaders belonged. In most circles, his ascendancy to the executive was considered a given. "Never had Iranian officials been so blatant in their backing of a single candidate," writes Robin Wright, a foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, in her book The Last Great Revolution (2000).

His candidacy was given an official nudge forward by the Council of Guardians, which was dominated by conservative clerics and had the awesome power to decide which candidates were fit to run for president. The council disqualified more than 200 other candidates -- 230, to be precise, including all of the women -- who had registered to run. Four men were left, among them Nateq-Nouri and Mohammad Khatami, a moderate cleric who held the relatively obscure post of director of the National Library and was hardly seen as a threat to Nateq-Nouri's candidacy.

Khatami was not a new face in Iranian politics. In 1992 he was forced to resign his post as minister of culture and Islamic guidance, where he was tasked with enforcing the republic's censorship policies. In the first few years he held the post, he strictly enforced the rules; in the latter part of his tenure, however, he relaxed restrictions on films, art, music, and literature, stirring the ire of the conservative-dominated Parliament. President Rafsanjani allowed Khatami to submit his resignation, a political gesture meant to appease the clerical establishment, and Khatami was transferred to the National Library.

That Khatami clashed with the clerical establishment might be seen as ironic. The son of a prominent cleric and a supporter of the 1979 revolution, Khatami's clerical credentials are solid. He, too, is a hojjatoleslam, educated at the theological institutions in Qom, where he became a disciple of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and a close friend of Khomeini's son. He also studied philosophy at secular institutions in Iran, where he was exposed to Western ideals of democracy. The possibility that democracy could blossom within Islam, in fact, would go on to dominate his political thought.

Khatami's political support in the 1997 election came from a coalition of strange bedfellows, including traditional leftists, some of whom had participated in the U.S. Embassy takeover in 1979, and business leaders who wanted the state to open up the economy and allow more foreign investment. Women and younger voters also got behind Khatami's candidacy. A longtime supporter of the freedom of speech and the press, he promised to enforce constitutional civil rights. He campaigned tirelessly.

"He was a populist candidate, would get on a bus and kiss babies and shake hands," says The New York Times' Elaine Sciolino, author of Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran. "And he had such an extraordinary personality and such charm. It sounds sort of trite or superficial, but he's as charming as Bill Clinton. And that goes a long way. He charmed the people of Iran. He charmed them with his personality, with his good looks, and with his promises."

The presidential campaign lasted only 12 days, and most candidates' access to the state media, including the television and radio networks, was effectively restricted. But though Khatami had little airtime, he more than made up for it in the televised presidential debates, where it became clear to most that Nateq-Nouri could not compete with Khatami's formidable intellect.

In May 1997, Iranians went to the polls in droves. Nearly 80 percent of eligible voters participated, and fully 70 percent of them voted for Khatami, giving him and his reform agenda a resounding endorsement. Even in Qom, the center of theological training in Iran and a conservative stronghold, 70 percent of voters cast their ballots for Khatami.

In August of 1997, Supreme Leader Khamenei confirmed Khatami as the fifth president of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

BBC NEWS | Who's Who in Iran - Nateq-Nouri

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Who's Who in Iran: "Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri

Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri is the right-wing speaker of the house and stood in the 1997 presidential elections against Khatami.
He became involved in politics in 1963 as an anti-Shah activist while studying under Ayatollah Montazeri in the holy city of Qom.

After being arrested numerous times he eventually fled to Lebanon and Syria.

But Mr Nateq-Nouri, now 57, quickly rose to prominence in post-revolutionary Iran and was Minister of Interior from 1981-85."

1997 Khatami beats Nateq-Nouri in a landslide

Moderate triumphs in Iranian elections: "Moderate triumphs in Iranian elections
By Christopher Lockwood in Teheran

THE victory yesterday of Sayeed Mohammed Khatami, the moderate candidate, in Iran's presidential election has sent the most powerful tremors through the country's fundamentalist Islamic regime since 1979, when it came to power.

Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, the speaker of the Iranian parliament, had been the favoured choice of the hard-line religious figures who dominate Iran. Until a few weeks ago, he had been expected to win without difficulty. But Mr Khatami, a former culture minister forced to resign for being too liberal a censor, won the support of moderates and reformers.

By late yesterday, with only two-thirds of votes counted, it was clear that Mr Khatami had won by a landslide. He was leading Mr Nateq-Nouri by about 13 million votes to five million, with another six to seven million votes still uncounted. Mr Nateq-Nouri, in what amounts to a complete humiliation for Iran's conservative traditionalist clerics, conceded defeat in the early afternoon, telephoning his congratulations to Mr Khatami and acknowledging that a run-off second round, required if no candidate gained more than half the votes, would not be needed.

But there are doubts about what difference Mr Khatami will be able to make. The presidency in Iran is less powerful than the post of religious leader, occupied first by Ayatollah Khomeini and now by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Analysts noted that the previous president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was barred by the constitution from running for a third term, was also regarded as a reformer, but was severely constrained by the hard-liners."

20-Year Perspective of Iran’s Development Program: Ansari

Wednesday: "Wednesday 5 November 2003

20-Year Perspective of Iran’s Development Program

The text of the final document of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s 20-year development program was conveyed to the supreme leader of the Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei which after being confirmed by the heads, will be conveyed to the leaders of the three branches of government and the head of the country’s state expediency council for being implemented.

Member of Parliament and of the Expediency Council Majid Ansari on November 4 in a press conference elaborated on the aims of this program. The Islamic Republic of Iran has so far implemented three 5-year economic, social and cultural development plans and is now passing through the 4th year of the third plan. Experts believe that drawing up long term goals indicate the favorable growth of the criteria of Iran’s sustained development, that provide the ground for planning for the next 20 years.

Islamic Republic's Torturers

Islamic Republic's Torturers: "Majid Ansari : Head of country’s prisons,1978- 1988. representative of the supreme judicial Council in the Islamic Revolutionary courts and Islamic Revolutionary justice offices and prisons. Member of parliament 188- 96 and 2000-2004."

Khatami MRM Candidate in June Presidential Race: Ansari

Latest-News10: "April 2001
Khatami MRM Candidate in June Presidential Race

HAMSHAHRI* The daily reported that Majid Ansari, a member of the central board of the Majma-e Rowhanyioun-e Mobarez (MRM), said that the party hoped that President Khatami would contest the forthcoming presidential race on the MRM ticket."

Ansari supported Normaled relations between Iran and the United States

Khatami's Brother: "Majid Ansari, a mid-level cleric and one of Khatami's supporters, went even further than the president. Normalizing relations between Iran and the United States "will be in the interest of both nations," Ansari said, if the relationship is based on mutual respect and international norms of behavior.

"We want ties with all countries except the regime of Israel," Ansari said. But he warned, "As long as the United States does not change its attitude toward Iran and Islam, ties are neither possible or necessary.""

Ansari supported Musavi for Presidency in 05

Analysis: Iranian Parties Hint At Presidential Candidates: ""Election of an informed, experienced, faithful, and capable manager will expedite [Iran's] development," Majid Ansari of the pro-reform Militant Clerics Association (Majma-yi Ruhaniyun-i Mubarez) said in the 23 August "Aftab-i Yazd." He added that a strong democracy with public support through elections will neutralize foreign threats. Musavi, therefore, is the only candidate for the 2nd of Khordad Front, Ansari said, adding, "We are still talking to Musavi."

Another prominent member of the Militant Clerics Association, Hojatoleslam Ali-Akbar Mohtashami-Pur, also weighed in on Musavi's behalf, "Aftab-i Yazd" reported on 11 September. Mohtashami-Pur described Musavi's "main qualifications" as "his trustworthiness, truthfulness, and honesty." He added that Musavi managed the country during the 1980-1988 war with Iraq and said that the country's infrastructure is under attack. "We need individuals such as Engineer Musavi, whose main concern day and night is the people."

Ansari said on 12 September that efforts to persuade Musavi to run as a presidential candidate are continuing, IRNA reported. Addressing the annual meeting of the Office for Strengthening Unity student organization, Ansari added, "The president is representing the republican aspect of the system and the presidential election will represent the religious democracy in Iran."

An anonymous "informed source" said in the 8 September "Resalat" that Musavi definitely will not be a candidate. Quoting an anonymous "prominent theoretician of the 2nd of Khordad Front," the source said: "the 2nd of Khordad Front groups are now going to select another person as their candidate in the presidential elections. This is because Mir Hussein Musavi has announced explicitly and clearly that he is definitely not going to stand as a candidate." Musavi reportedly gave many reasons for not running, but the source refused to share them."

RFE/RL Iran Report

RFE/RL Iran Report:

"The Guardians Council caused even more controversy than usual when it announced on 12 May that it would postpone naming the final candidates by five days and cited Article 57 of the election law as giving it the right the do so. State television on 12 May ascribed the need for more time to the great number of registrants, as compared to previous elections. In the first election (1980) 124 people registered, 71 registered for the second (1981), 46 for the third (1981), 50 for the fourth (1985), 79 for the fifth (1989), 128 for the sixth (1993), and 238 for the seventh (1997). Several members of parliament, including Shahrud's Kazem Jalali, expressed concern that this delay would be used to change the definition of an eligible candidate, "Seda-yi Idalat" reported on 15 May.

Meanwhile, several deputies from Tehran -- Majid Ansari, Elias Hazrati, Fatimeh Jelodarzadeh, Elahe Kulayi, and Ali-Akbar Musavi-Khoiniha -- approved writing a letter to the Judiciary in which they would request the prosecution of Guardians Council secretary Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati. The deputies also asked that the Special Court for the Clergy pursue a lawsuit filed against Jannati by former Deputy Interior Minister Mustafa Tajzadeh and by the Interior Ministry itself, "Iran" reported on 17 May. (Bill Samii)"

Preachers Criticized: Majid Ansari

Iran Daily: "Preachers Criticized

Majid Ansari
TEHRAN, Sept. 21--Some religious preachers and orators are propagating false and superstitious ideas during ceremonies marking religious occasions, a member of the Experts Assembly and former Tehran MP Majid Ansari said.
Addressing the 12th session of the Experts Assembly late Monday, Ansari said elegies and eulogies are often filled with unrealistic and superficial remarks, which distort the religion and weaken people's faith, IRNA reported.
"Their remarks and verses are at times stained with fallacy and nonsense," he said.
Ansari noted that public trust in the clergy was the main driving force behind the victory of the Islamic Revolution.
"It is vital that clerics maintain and strengthen people's trust in them," he said.
Another assembly member, Hojjatoleslam Vafi, referred to news of spreading drug addiction and rampant smuggling and said officials and religious scholars should deal with the issue as a social and ethical affliction.

MP Majid Ansari says Iranian will unitedly confront US threats

MP Majid Ansari says Iranian will unitedly confront US threats: "MP Majid Ansari says Iranian will unitedly confront US threats

Shahr-e Rey, March 24, IRNA -- Iranians will close ranks to confront US threats if American leaders' aggressive overture against the Islamic Republic takes a turn for an attack, a leading MP from Tehran Majid Ansari said in this city near Tehran on Sunday.
"Our stance is based on restraint and detente, but if we are threatened by America, all the Iranian nation will face up (any attack) in an integrated rank," he told a group of mourners of at the Imam Khomeini mausoleum.

Meanwhile, a leading cleric in the central city of Isfahan on Sunday fended off US President George W. Bush's "axis of evil" charge against Iran along with Iraq and North Korea.

"The Iranian people are not intimidated a bit by Bush's and American threats," Ayatollah Abolqassem Khaz'ali said.

"The Iranian nation did not lose an acre of their soil during the eight year (1980-1988) war while the world was behind (Iraqi President) Saddam Hossein. This was thanks to their love in Imam Hossein," the cleric said in reference to the third Imam of Shia Muslims, Imam Hossein, who was martyred 1,300 years ago.

Iranians of various political hue have denounced US President George W. Bush's branding of Iran as part of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea.

Several officials and military chiefs have vowed strong resistance in the event of an attack amid US officials' accusations against Iran.

On Friday, a guards commander said that Iran will stand up against enemies with all force and defend the country.

"We are not seeking a war, but we will stand up against the enemy should the need for defense arise," the chief commander of the naval forces of the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps, Brigadier Morteza Saffari, said in the southern city of Shush in the Khuzestan province.

Iran's armed forces have reached self-sufficiency in many military fields and are ready to defend the values of the system and the country, Saffari added.

The daily Los Angeles Times wrote recently that the White House had asked the US military to draw up contingency plans to use nuclear weapons against China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria.

President Mohammad Khatami recently said that Iran is still committed to its policy of detente in the face of pending threats to the world from warmongers."