Affirming that relations between Iran and the United States should not continue to be strained forever, one of the candidates in the Republic’s tenth presidential election told Fars News Agency, “For ties to be established to the U.S., I have two prerequisites.”
At a student assembly convened yesterday noon at the Bushehr Unit of the Islamic Azad University, Mehdi Karrubi said, “One of the prerequisites is that the U.S. change the tone of its language and its demeanor, which, as far as I am concerned, has changed – meaning the demeanor of Mr. Obama, which is very different from that of Bush.” He added, “The other prerequisite is that this demeanor and language move from words to deeds and the U.S. prove that deeds follow words. Karrubi expounded further, “If the U.S. would venture a first step, their good intentions would emerge, pressure and threats would recede, and they would return our blocked assets; one hopes new avenues would be opened, and good things would happen.”
In reply to questions on topics, such as “star students” [expelled or suspended university students], prisoners and a minister for women’s affairs, this potential aspirant explained further, “If I become president of the republic, with your support and the necessary deliberation, I will recommend creating a science ministry to ensure we no longer have “star students” even though I believe that “students stars” are the sparkling firmament of Iran.” Karrubi said, “If I become president of the republic, I will be the first to appoint a minister for women’s affairs in my cabinet and create a space that can be used more by women at universities.”
A student asked, “You spoke of a cutback in the authority of the leadership; what is your opinion on this?” The leader of the National Trust Party retorted, “I never spoke about cutting back on the authority of the leadership, nor did I consider it.”
In his reply to a remark suggesting that his entourage included several radicals, Karrubi emphasized, “Aside from the National Trust Party, support comes from a group of friends, some of whom may be members in other groups. I should point out that my positions are clear. I could obscure things, but as is appropriate, I am being straightforward. It is clear who supports me and who does not.
Speaking on “approbatory supervision” [traditionalist vetting of political candidates to ensure loyalty to theological regime], Karrubi also insisted, “From day one, I was opposed to approbatory supervision, which was effective in some ways and ineffective in others. I have been writing letters and holding speeches against approbatory supervision for 20 years now.
With regard to the Islamic Azad University, this contender in the Republic’s tenth presidential election reaffirmed, “I have always supported the Islamic Azad University. While serving as Chairman of the Majles (Parliament), I wanted to earmark funds in the state budget for university tuition loans to be paid back by students once they graduated. I would like to express my appreciation for the administration and the work done at the Islamic Azad University and accept the original application of the Islamic Azad University.”
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