Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Iran presidential contenders in their own wordsClick here for original story at IranMania
Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - �2005 IranMania.com
LONDON, June 22 (Iranmania) - Iran is facing one of the starkest election choices in its history, between the ultra-conservative mayor of Tehran and an increasingly moderate cleric pushing for better ties with the West, AFP reported.
With accusation and counter-accusation flying like never before in an Iranian election campaign, here are Mahmood Ahmadinejad and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in their own words.
RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES:
Rafsanjani: "I believe that if the Americans renounce their hostile stance and show goodwill, the road will be prepared for negotiations."
"The United States is the most important country in the world and Iran is the most important country in the region, so it is logical that they solve their problems."
Ahmadinejad: "In the past, the Americans broke off relations with Iran to create pressure. If they want to re-establish them now it is for the same reasons. We do not want to have imposed relations."
"The US administration cut off ties unilaterally to lay waste to the Islamic republic. They want to restore them today for the same reason."
IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAMME
Rafsanjani: "I have always been hostile to the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons. But it is not acceptable for us to renounce (uranium) enrichment" for civilian purposes.
"We can reach an accord, but I cannot predict when that will happen."
Ahmadinejad: "The Iranians want to possess civilian nuclear technology. The world should know that it cannot contain this effort.
"We will discuss in a rational way and if they accept our legitimate right (to enrich), we will cooperate. Otherwise nothing will force the Iranians to comply with their demands."
"We do not need" a nuclear weapon. "This does not correspond with our culture and Islamic beliefs."
Rafsanjani: "We have to increase the role of women in national decision making."
Ahmadinejad: "I believe women have certain qualities, such as being responsible and precise."
"Some draw fake lines between men and women as if they were two different classes. We all belong to the same nation and must not have a sexist attitude."
"It is a big lie to say that, if the country turns revolutionary, managers will only care about women's scarves slipping back."
Rafsanjani: "There are new demands. Nobody should think that we can act by employing the same literature, the same policies or the same attitudes that we had at the beginning of the revolution or at the end of the (Iran-Iraq) war."
"The situation is changing rapidly. To respond to the legitimate demands of this new generation, new solutions are necessary."
Ahmadinejad: "A young person who sports a certain outfit or haircut is dear to us and an asset to the country. We have to attract them by kindness, a nice attitude and creating an ideal atmosphere."
"There is an organised promotion of decadence and it is up to the government to find a solution and protect people."
Rafsanjani: "Our red line is the law. Everyone must apply the law, but I do not think that criticising the supreme leader should be a reason to imprison somebody."
"Our press is in a good situation and their freedom can develop. We cannot fight against satellite television and the Internet."
Ahmadinejad: "In our democratic system, liberty is already beyond what could be imagined."
Rafsanjani: "The government must resolve the problem of inflation and the cost of living. We must attract more foreign investment, competitiveness and privatisation."
Ahmadinejad: "National resources must be freed from the state and given to people to use them for the advancement of the country. There must be justice and equal opportunities for all."
"Unemployment, marriage and housing are the main priorities. Our government will support the poor, but that is not to say it will be against others."
"As for joining WTO, we will enter the organisation with a powerful economy. We will not definitely open the doors if industries and agriculture would be sabotaged. We will give precise study before doing so."
Rafsanjani: "Before the revolution I was among the rich seminary students. After the victory of the revolution, I gradually spent my assets on living, my children and the revolution. Now I only have a plot of land in city of Qom and I do not have any house or land in Tehran."
Ahmadinejad: "I declared all my assets as the constitution orders. I live on a teacher's salary and thank God I'm content."
"My biggest asset is huge -- it is my love for serving people, and nothing can compare to that.
"A revolutionary manager is not empowered by expensive office accessories and several secretaries."