Iran’s reformist ex-president endorses Rouhani

Supporters of Iranian President and presidential candidate Hassan Rouhani hold up his portrait during a campaign rally in the capital Tehran on Saturday. (AFP / ATTA KENARE)
Updated 14 May 2017
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Iran’s reformist ex-president endorses Rouhani

TEHRAN: Iran’s reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami on Sunday endorsed President Hassan Rouhani in a video message, calling on voters to give him another term in this week’s election.
“Mr Rouhani’s government has been a successful one, despite all the limitations, problems and the great expectations,” he said in the video posted on social media.
“We should all go and vote for Rouhani, for freedom in thought, logic in dialogue, law in action, securing the rights of citizens and enforcing social and economic justice.”
Khatami praised the government for taming rampant inflation of above 40 percent in 2013 to below 9.5 percent and the “steps” taken against stagnation.
Unemployment has increased in the past four years from 10.5 percent to 12.5 percent, while youth joblessness stands at 27 percent.
“Many issues have been resolved but bigger issues remain, which we must all help to solve,” he said in the video published on his Telegram messenger account.
Khatami, the de facto leader of the reformist camp, has been under a media ban during the past few years for supporting the Green Movement protesters in the 2009 presidential election that saw hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-elected.
In 2016, he released a video that played a crucial role in helping pro-Rouhani candidates to defeat ultra-conservatives in parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections.
The video became well-known for his use of the phrase “I repeat.”
“This time, it is you who should repeat. Repeat the vote for dear Rouhani, to boost hope for future,” he said on Sunday, referring to Friday’s presidential election.
In 2013, Khatami helped Rouhani take office by convincing reformist Mohammad Reza Aref to step aside in Rouhani’s favor.
It is yet to be seen if Khatami does the same in this election to the reformist First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri who is running alongside Rouhani.
Khatami also warned people against being deceived by “baseless promises” from Rouhani’s conservative rivals who have vowed to increase cash handouts and create millions of jobs in four years.


Oman marks its 48th National Day

Updated 49 min 27 sec ago
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Oman marks its 48th National Day

  • 48 years ago, in his first historic speech in 1970, Sultan Qaboos promised to establish a modern state
  • Oman and Saudi Arabia enjoy historic, brotherly relations on various issues

JEDDAH: The Sultanate of Oman has celebrated its 48th National Day, marking a period of peace and development under the leadership of Sultan Qaboos.

In celebration, Sultan Qaboos will preside over the “Glorious National Day” military parade on Sunday, which will be staged at the parade ground of the Royal Guard of Oman (RGO) Command.

On the occasion, Oman’s neighbors, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, have congratulated the country’s leadership and its people on the event of their national day.

Oman and Saudi Arabia enjoy historic, brotherly relations on various issues, in which both countries are keen on strengthening and developing the interests of their peoples and their leaders.

48 years ago, in his first historic speech in 1970, Sultan Qaboos promised to establish a modern state. Years have proven that with under his wisdom, inspired by the values of the past and future aspirations, Qaboos has built a nation that upholds the values of justice, citizenship, equality and law.

Throughout the years, Oman has made numerous and continuous achievements in various fields while maintaining its originality and heritage, all while remaining at pace with contemporary developments.

The most important feature of the modern “Omani Renaissance” is that Sultan Qaboos has laid the foundations and pillars of national unity as a firm pillar of this nation.

This is accompanied by programs to stimulate tourism and investment in tourism projects in the various provinces of the Sultanate.

Oman also tops rankings by international institutions in indicators on various fields, such as terror-free countries, reliability of police services, the judicial independence index, the road quality and the port services efficiency index.