Tuesday Jun 04, 201306:37 PM GMT
Aref pledges to alter Iran foreign policy if elected president
Reformist presidential candidate Mohammad Reza Aref has censured the foreign policy of the incumbent administration, vowing to improve Iran’s diplomatic ties with other countries if elected president in the June 14 election.

“Currently, we have really poor relations with the world. Our message to the world must be peace. We must defend our legal rights but we should also respect others’ rights at the same time,” Aref told a group of his supporters in the northwestern city of Qazvin on Monday.

He added that the next administration can have friendly ties with the world and improve the conditions in the country through such relations.

“Our country enjoys a high level of diplomatic-scientific potentials. If we manage to resolve our problems with the world, something which is practical as we did in the reformist administration, it will have valuable outcomes for the country. Nevertheless, it must be within the framework of our rights and national interests as I mentioned earlier,” the former first vice president noted.

“We will respect others’ interests and welcome interaction and dialogue. Through positive and constructive interaction with the world, and by prioritizing ties with Muslims and Non-Aligned Movement countries, we hope to have good relations with the world,” the reformist candidate pointed out.

The reformist candidate also said he will pursue and implement plans aimed to further presence and participation of the youth in various arenas of the country.

“Dear youths, I stand committed to the remarks that I have made over the past few months at [different] universities about you. You are our spiritual assets. You are the ones who shape the future of our country. We are committed to preparing the ground for your presence so that you can progress. I will pursue all the commitments which I have made. We are contesting the election in order to pursue your legitimate demands in a reformist manner,” he said.

The reformist candidate added, “The main characteristic of reformism is patience and broad-mindedness. The most significant feature of reformism is movement within the framework of the Constitution and with due respect for norms and structures.”

Aref is facing seven rivals in the upcoming election, including President of the Center for Strategic Research of the Expediency Council Hassan Rohani, Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, lawmaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, Secretary of Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei, former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, and former Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Gharazi.

The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election.

Iranians will go to the polls in the nation’s 11th presidential election on June 14. Over 66,000 polling stations will be set up across the country. Expatriates will also be able to cast ballots at 285 polling stations that will be set up in their respective countries.

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