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.


OIC chief holds talks with ministers during UN General Assembly

Updated 16 min 1 sec ago
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OIC chief holds talks with ministers during UN General Assembly

  • Al-Othaimeen attended the reception ceremony hosted by Donald Trump on Monday
  • The Palestinian issue was also top of the topics that the chief of OIC discussed in his meeting

JEDDAH: Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, met the United Nations’ special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
They discussed the latest developments in the Syrian crisis, and Al-Othaimeen emphasized the need to reach a peaceful solution and address the humanitarian situation.
Al-Othaimeen also met Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations in all fields of cooperation, especially in fighting terrorism and extremism, in addition to discussing the Palestinian issue and supporting UNRWA, the relief agency for Palestinian refugees in the Near East.
The Palestinian issue was also top of the topics that the chief of OIC discussed in his meeting with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who said his country gave the Palestinian issue special attention, highlighting that there is a large Muslim community in Venezuela and that his country is keen to strengthen relations with the OIC.
Al-Othaimeen met the Iraqi minister of foreign affairs, Dr. Ibrahim Al-Jaafari. They discussed the latest developments in Iraq following the elections and the Basra events, and the importance of holding the Makkah II conference to achieve social reconciliation in Iraq. He also stressed OIC’s support for stability in Iraq.
Moreover, the chief of OIC met the president of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, and stressed the support of his organization for Kosovo until it wins the recognition of OIC member states as an independent state.
Al-Othaimeen attended the reception ceremony hosted by US President Donald Trump on Monday evening for the delegation heads participating in the UN General Assembly.