Khatami says he wants to serve the country

February 12, 2009

TEHRAN -- Former president Mohammad Khatami stated on Wednesday that his aim is to improve the current situation in the country and win the presidential election.

“Our intention is to change the situation and to win,” he said in a meeting with members of the Reformist Front Coordination Council.
Khatami served as president from 1997 to 2005. He swept to power in a landslide in 1997 on promises of political and social change and won reelection in another landslide in 2001.
He recently announced his candidacy for the June 12 presidential election.
Khatami stated that he feels compelled to run for president although deep down he doesn’t really want to run, adding that he is not seeking power and popularity.
But now that he has tossed his hat in the ring he believes he should stay the course, with the goal of changing the current situation, he said.
The situation is different and the methods and programs of 1997 will not lead to favorable results for the country now, he opined.
The former president noted that the issues, Iranian society’s mindset, the region, and the world have all changed from those days in 1997.
He said that he felt compelled to participate in the election in order to help improve the country’s circumstances because if the current situation continues, the spiritual, social, and material resources, the foundations that have been laid, the country’s workforce, and its international reputation will all be damaged.
Meanwhile, Mohammad-Baqer Zakeri of the National Confidence Party told the Mehr News Agency on Wednesday that former prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi may still become a candidate.
And Khatami is still hesitant about running in the election, he added.
Khatami had said earlier that either he or Mousavi would contest the election as the reformist camp’s candidate.