Azerbaijan, Baku, May 14 /Trend S.Isayev, T. Jafarov/
Ali Akbar Rafsanjani has the ability to gather experienced people around him and improve the situation in Iran, former parliamentarian and reformist politician Ali Mazrooei told Trend.
The expert was commenting on the current pre-election situation in Iran, which is getting ready to host the presidential elections on June 14, 2013.
Mazrooei said that considering the current situation in Iran, Rafsanjani's joining the presidential race created good atmosphere.
"The presidential race would be decided between the trio of reformists, conservatives and government supporters," he said. "In my opinion, the best candidate of them all is Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani."
At the elections, Rafsanjani, if approved by Iran's Guardian Council, will have strong rivals in Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili, and the head of presidential office of current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei.
Both Mashaei and Jalili are strongly supported by the top conservatives and principlists in Iran.
Mazrooei further explained why Rafsanjani could get an edge over other presidential hopefuls.
"Rafsanjani will be able to get most of the votes at the elections, because he, among other candidates, will succeed the most at improving the current situation in Iran," he said.
"When Rafsanjani was previously the president of Iran, he was successful. After the Iran-Iraq war, he put country's economic issues at first priority, and started putting the economy back on the rails. The economy improved under his ruling," the expert added.
Rafsanjani is an influential Iranian politician and writer, who was the fourth president of Iran. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts until his resignation in 2011.
Currently, he is chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran. At the last registration day, Rafsanjani joined other hopefuls in the 2013 presidential race.
Rafsanjani was elected chairman of the Iranian parliament in 1980 and served until 1989. Rafsanjani also served as president of Iran from 1989 to 1997.
During Rafsanjani's years as president, Iran's economic levels improved. The oil production level has risen from 2.4 mbpd to approximately 4 mpbd.
During his first presidency, Iran's GDP has increased by 15 percent, and stood at some 5,5 percent during his 8 years as Iran's president.
However, the inflation rate during his ruling years stood at 25 percent average, and at the end of his second term it reached some 35 percent.
In 2005 he ran for a third term in office, placing first in the first round of elections but ultimately losing to rival Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the run-off round of the 2005 election.
Ali Mazrooei continued by saying that Rafsanjani's government was mostly criticized for the fact that while the economy has improved, such spheres as politics and culture were left as they were.
"After Rafsanjani, Mohammad Khatami's government took over and improved those two spheres. This is while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government completely leveled all accomplishments of Khatami's and Rafsanjani's governments," he underscored.
Mazrooei noted that today Rafsanjani is not what he was in 1989, 1993 or 1997.
"He has gained experience throughout his days in power, and has seen what was happening to the country in the recent years. This is the reason why I believe Rafsanjani can put Iran back on track," he said.
Rafsanjani has been known to have a moderate position internationally, seeking to avoid conflict with the United States and the West.
As president, Rafsanjani was credited with spurring Iran's reconstruction following the 1980-88 war with Iraq. Rafsanjani is known to be popular with the upper and middle classes, partially due to his economic reforms during his tenure and support for human rights, which have been widely perceived as successful for the most part.
Following years of deterioration in foreign relations under Khomeini during the Iran-Iraq war, Rafsanjani sought to rebuild ties with Arab states as well as with countries in Central Asia and the Caucasus, including Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.
"While being president Rafsanjani tried to plead with world tensions, and establish good relations with neighboring countries - this I believe would be his strategy if he wins the elections," Ali Mazrooei said.
Iran will hold the 11th presidential election on June 14, 2013.
The voters will select the successor of the current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is not able to participate in the elections for the third term according to the country's constitutional laws.
The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term in a national election and the Guardian Council vets the candidates for qualifications.
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