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posted January 30, 2001 08:51     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Conservatives negotiating to choose candidate for president: ICA

TEHRAN, Jan 29 (AFP) - The influential head of the Islamic Coalition Association (ICA) said Monday that conservatives are in the middle of talks to agree on a candidate for the June presidential elections. "We're negotiating with other groups and we will have our candidate in due time," said Habibollah Asgharowladi from the ICA, the largest group in the traditional conservative Islamic right.

Reformist President Mohammad Khatami, who has publicly complained of limited powers to enact his reform agenda in the face of strong
conservative opposition, has yet to announce whether he will seek re-election.

Asgharowladi, speaking at a Tehran conference, blasted reformists for "monopolising the political scene" through their control of government newspapers and the state IRNA news agency.

Asgharowladi is a former commerce minister who spent 13 years in prison under the formal imperial regime for involvement in the assassination of prime minister Hassan Ali Mansour.

He was a key figure in Islamist movement in the 1960s and remains influential in the political arena.

Asgharowladi also told reporters that new US President George W. Bush holds the "key" to relations between Washington and Tehran, which were broken off in April 1980.

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posted January 31, 2001 10:06     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Khatami Should Think Twice Before Fielding Candidacy

The Tehran Times
January 30, 2001

President Seyed Mohammad Khatami won his landslide victory with various attractive slogans and when he was in the presidency, he, on record said that he inherited a sick economy.

It was known by all that during the eight-year tenure as president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's government made certain basic mistakes that resulted in suffering of the common people.

President Khatami, in the meantime promised the nation that he would cure the sick economy. His eight-year term is going to end, but the people do not even sense any betterment in term of economy, politics or social affairs of the country.

The analysts believe that Khatami's mistake was that he did not pick the right people for the cabinet particularly in the economic field. There was no harmony among the officials of the Ministry of Economics and Finance and the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).

It was therefore quite natural to presume that the sickness of the economy could not be cured due to lack of complete harmony among the officials of two major institutions of the economic affairs.

As result, social situation in Iran is now alarming. Even in Tehran alone around 25,000 to 30,000 children live in the streets and some 100 to 150 of them die every night . One Persian daily quoting a welfare official

This is not all the picture. He also said that the average age of street prostitution had fallen severely in recent years.

Former Agriculture Minister Isa Kalantari in a recent interview with a Persian daily disclosed that several tons of sugar has imported recently that is more than what we need in the country.'

Though Kalantari did not name a person but said he received enormous commission through the sugar deal. Many believe that financial corruption is another cause for the present sicknesses of national economy.

This is the best time Mr. Khatami should think twice before presenting his economic plans to the people if he should decide to run for another term in office.

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