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Monday, June 22, 2009
Candidates and followers are different from rioters: Larijani
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN – Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said late on Saturday that the Islamic Republic system welcomes citizens’ questions about the presidential election results but everyone should make a differentiation between the candidates and critics of the election results and the rioters.
In an appearance on IRIB Channel 2’s Special Dialogue program, Larijani stated, “We saw hundreds of thousands of people in the streets who rejected the results of the election, but the critics of the election results must draw a line between themselves and the rioters.”
The parliament speaker said none of the candidates approve of the destruction of public property, adding, “I am sure that the candidates are not satisfied with the current situation.”
Larijani urged the candidates to pursue their complaints about the election through the Guardian Council.
“In this situation, all those who feel there is a problem with the results of the election should submit their complaints to the Guardian Council… and all people should know that the officials of the system will pay attention to their demands.”
Larijani partly blamed some Guardian Council members for the current crisis, who he said sided with a particular candidate and attacked others during the presidential campaign.
“Part of the dispute is related to certain people in the Guardian Council who took positions in the election,” he noted. “In my opinion, it would have been better if certain members of the Guardian Council had not taken positions on candidates.”
He added, “But everyone should know that the members of the Guardian Council are pious and will not allow any candidate’s rights to be trampled upon.”
He said some people, who perhaps did not even vote in the presidential election, are taking advantage of the situation to undermine public security and should be dealt with.
He also reacted angrily to the attacks on university students. “What does it mean when certain people attack the (Tehran) university dormitory. These persons have ulterior motives and they must definitely be dealt with.”
Larijani said the defeated candidates can pursue their complaints only in a calm atmosphere. “The politicians should be aware that the establishment of security can lay the grounds for pursuing their rights.”
He said, “Our system is based on the people’s votes and it never seeks to silence” people.
As the Supreme Leader said in his Friday sermon, it is better if rivals express their views in debates, Larijani noted. “Therefore, the debate must continue.”
Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi, who finished in second and fourth place in the June 12 presidential poll, have made allegations of election fraud.
Mousavi’s supporters poured into the streets in great numbers in Tehran every day in the week after the results were announced and protested the results. The Interior Ministry has declared the rallies illegal.
Larijani said a legal mechanism has been drawn up to close any loopholes that could allow vote-rigging. However, he said, “We should not violate the law if we see any shortcoming… and it is in the interests of the nation to observe the law, whether in regard to this election or other issues.”
He added, “Under the name of the nation’s rights we should not trample upon the law. Of course, the voices of the people who have taken part in the election must be heard.”
On certain Western countries’ remarks about Iran’s election, the Majlis speaker said, “I tell Obama and the leaders of France, Britain, and Germany that you are” too reprehensible to comment on Iran’s affairs.
He said the suppression carried out by the monarchist regime, which occurred on the orders of then U.S. president Jimmy Carter, is still fresh in the minds of the Iranian people.
He went on to say that the French president should know that his country gave jet fighters to the Iraqi regime for its war against Iran in the 1980s and the country’s companies facilitated the Saddam Hussein regime’s chemical weapons production program at the time.
He also hit out at Britain, saying it is more wicked than France and the United States.
“We are one family and may have differences but know how to resolve the problem.”
He also called on IRIB (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) to act “transparently” and avoid giving a “one-sided” reflection of events so that people will not be forced to return to foreign news networks which try to incite tension in the country.
30 years since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has now reached a status where it plays an influential role in regional developments and everyone should be careful that this privilege is not lost due to the current dispute over the presidential election results, he noted.
On reports that the events are a prelude for a velvet revolution in the country, he said, “Iranians are so united that a velvet revolution cannot happen in Iran.”
He also said the current developments have both provided an “opportunity” and a “threat”.
“The situation that has been created today can be a threat and also an opportunity. If we observe the law, it can be an opportunity.”