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Rouhani, Qalibaf elaborate on executive plans amid campaigning

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf (L) and incumbent President Hassan Rouhani, both presidential candidates

Iranian presidential candidates Hassan Rouhani and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf outline their executive plans in different spheres if elected as president in the country’s upcoming elections.

In a talk show broadcast live on state TV on Wednesday night, incumbent President Rouhani underlined the importance of “political independence” and “democracy” as the main achievements of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Touching on his plans for domestic politics, Rouhani stressed the need to boost the democratic participation of people and remove the existing restrictions in this regard.

He underscored the need to give more freedom to people in the cultural and economic arenas and minimize the government’s intervention in those areas.

“Wherever there is more freedom, more accomplishments are made and whenever there is freer competition we feel more successful,” he added.

Closer ties with neighbors

Commenting on foreign policy priorities, the president pointed to Iran’s continued assistance to its neighbors and friendly nations and added, “Regional stability is very crucial for us” as Iran’s security is interrelated with those of its neighbors.

“If we want to use our country’s potentials efficiently [to have more] exports and cooperation in political and international issues, our neighbors and regional allies should have stability and security,” he said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends a live TV talk show on May 3, 2017. (Photo by IRIB). 

Rouhani pointed to a “semi-critical” environmental situation in some parts of Iran and expressed concern over the continued depletion of underground resources as well as high number of dried-out lakes and lagoons across the country.

The president described the upcoming elections as “special”, saying, “There is a competition between two management styles for the country,” saying his administration  would resort to “a moderate method” of running the state and would benefit from “the ideas of the people in national decision-making.”

Qalibaf vows financial transparency

In a separate talk show on state TV, presidential contender Qalibaf elaborated on some of his plans.

The current mayor of Tehran pointed to unemployment as the main problem of the country and said that he plans to create five million jobs, if elected, with the help of the people.

Mayor of Tehran Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, a presidential candidate

“While 1.3 million people are added to job seekers annually, an issue which is not resolvable, we can say the incumbent administration is neither efficient nor revolutionary,” he added.

He expressed concern over the fact that there are 10 million extremely impoverished individuals and 25 million low-income people in Iran, saying he plans to provide emergency aid to 25 million individuals and create stable employment for them.

Qalibaf underlined the need for financial transparency among the officials and said, “If I become the president, I will be committed to inform the people and the Judiciary of the assets belonging to me, the ministers and top officials at provincial governor offices beyond what is stipulated under the law.”

Touching on his foreign policy agenda, Qalibaf said that promotion of interactions with neighbors, regional countries and other nations are his top priorities.

“Building wall around the country and creating no economic ties has no justification whatsoever,” he said.

Qalibaf stressed his resolve to make efforts to turn Iran into the “first economic power in the region.”

The electorate will go to the polls on May 19.

Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri, member of Iran’s Expediency Council Mostafa Aqa-Mirsalim, Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, the current custodian of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) in the northeastern city of Mashhad, and former vice president Mostafa Hashemi-Taba are also contesting the race.

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