Azerbaijan, Baku, June 9 / Trend , T, Jafarov/
Iranian presidential candidate and Chairman of Etemad Melli party Mehdi Karroubi spoke in an exclusive interview with Trend ' Persian Desk.
Trend : In one of your interviews you said that "Army, Sepah and Basij are precious for us. But let us to hold free elections." Do you believe in honest conduct of elections without interference of military forces?
Mehdi Karroubi: Laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran and precepts of Imam Khomeini prohibited military forces (army, Sepah, police and Basij) to intervene with the elections. Organizers and candidates must not provide condition for interference. General problems in this regard have been eliminated. However, there are still certain concerns about honest conduct of elections in Iran.
Q: How do you assess Iran's ties with the West and U.S.? What program do you have to improve them?
A: If I am elected president, based on state programs that I plan to implement, problems related to foreign policy will be solved, good neighborly and peace loving policy will pursued taking into consideration interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I will also try to improve ties with the United States. All these will be done with honor, wisdom and through consultation with people.
Q: As a presidential candidate, you have launched women's organization. What do you think about laws that many women's organizations in Iran are unhappy with? What does your program envisage to address these problems?
A: If I am elected president, I will present women's nomination for ministerial post to the parliament. By using my presidential powers, I will do my utmost to change laws hindering women to participate in public administration, political and public life. Fortunately, the Constitution and legislation allows to do it.
Q: Your fourth statement is addressed to religious and national minorities in Iran. Do you think you will be able to ensure observance of political, public, cultural, economic and civil rights of national and religious minorities?
A: As you mentioned in your question, I addressed national and religious minorities. I spoke about their rights and my program related to religious and national minorities. If I win presidential elections, I will try to fulfill non-fulfilled articles of the Constitution on this issue. For example, I will get 15th and 19th articles of the Constitution fulfilled. I will do utmost to ensure rights of all Iranians.