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۱ فروردین ۱۳۸۸ - ۱۲:۳۵

Interview by Nasrin Vaziri

Ali Asghar Zareie is affiliated to the so-called political trend known as "The Sweet Odor of Serving People". He managed to make his way into the green parlor of Iranian parliament (Majlis) thanks to the support this political trend offered to him by including him in its list of candidates for the eighth Iranian parliamentary elections. Eight months after the opening of the eighth Majlis, supported by other parliamentarians supportive of President Ahmadinejad's administration, he founded the "Islamic Revolution Faction" to coordinate and concentrate supports offered to his government. The faction members, including himself as its leader, believe Ahmadinejad still remains fundamentalist groups' best choice of a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections in Iran. That is why he describes as null and void schemes suggested by a number of other fundamentalist parliament members. Stressing that the basic essence of fundamentalist school of thought is exactly the very same route followed by Ahmadinejad during his term as Iranian president, he insists on supporting Ahmadinejad as a second term Iranian president.

He accuses those MPs, who talk of replacing Ahmadinejad with another fundamentalist candidate, of focusing on insignificant, minor issues and ignoring fundamental topics. Though not directly mentioning Ali Mottahari, - who, too, happens to belong to the same political trend as himself - Zareie makes several indirect references to him during his remarks. Perhaps, the present division between fundamentalist MPs supportive of Mr. Ahmadinejad's nomination for a second-term presidency and those, like Mottahri, who approve of a fundamentalist government but favor another fundamentalist figure like the former Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati leading it, originated from these differences in viewpoints.

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Ali Asghar Zareie:

  • Getting closer to presidential election everyday, we hear three different theories about Mr. Ahmadinejad's nomination. One group of people insist on overall and overwhelming support for his candidacy; another group thinks of replacing him with another fundamentalist candidate while the third group says its decision to support or not support Ahmadinejad will depend on whom their rival reformist groups will introduce as their own presidential candidate.

Well, at the moment, the fundamentalists are quite happy with the performance of Mr. Ahmadinejad because of the relative calm has had managed to create in the country as the head of executive branch. We are neither in a rush to announce our final decision regarding the next presidential elections nor are we sitting waiting for the reformists to shape our decision. Of course, reformists are trying to make fundamentalists introduce multiple candidates instead of focusing on just one person. Anyway, Mr. Ahmadinejad remains one of the outstanding candidates for the next presidency.

In your opinion, what does the collective mind of fundamentalist groups say about Mr. Ahmadinejad's candidacy?

Well, I think they agree on him as the best candidate for the next presidency. I think Mr. Ahmadinejad is naturally the best choice if we want a fundamentalist government to continue its activities.

Then, why is it that some of your fundamentalist friends are after replacing him?

They are in fact sacrificing the basic issues at the foot of minor administrative mistakes and problems. I think this is wrong because the government now is building on the teachings of the Late Imam Khomeini and is following the guidelines of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. This kind of performance has resulted in decreasing class gap in the society and the growing influence and a better role in international arena.

By administrative mistakes, you mean the appointment of Ali Kordan which caused deep unhappiness with some MPs including Mr. Mottahari who happened to introduce the scheme to replace Mr. Ahmadinejad later?

Such mistakes always happen, with all governments. But some people tend to aggrandize them and build their decision on them.

Could it be that we see multiple fundamentalist candidates in next presidential elections?

We hope not.

Even if your rival reformists introduce many candidates instead of a single one?

We, we can't tell the reformists what to do. Anyway, reformists lack unity and there are many different trends present among them. This will naturally lead to introduction of multiple candidates by them. Even by now, they have two candidates, namely Mr. Karroubi and Mr. Khatami. Though I can't say whether they will finally choose between the two or not but the chance is very high that the fundamentalists agree only on Mr. Ahmadinejad as their candidate.

What do you think about the chances of Mr. Mir Hossein Mousavi running for elections? And if this happens, how many fundamentalists will support him?

Based on what I know about his character, I think the chances stand quite low. Some of the groups or persons who are trying to get him to run for the elections, I believe, could not be really trusted because they only think of their own interests. And in answer to your second question, since I think there is no possibility of Mr. Mousavi's candidacy, I think it very improbable that any fundamentalists will support him.

So, whom you think is the true rival for Mr. Ahmadinejad?

I can judge that after people have come out to register as candidates.

Now that Mr. Khatami is also running for the elections, do you think the next presidential elections will be in two stages?

That does not matter really. Because it is the people who make the final decision. If they can't make their minds in just one single stage, then the elections will be in two stages.

کد خبر 5539

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