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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ahmadinejad corrected the path of the Revolution

In Retro | Fri, 05 Jun 2009 | ISNA

The following is a summary of an interview with Mahdi Kalhor, (photo) a close aide to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbon.

Q.What is the strategy of President Ahmadinejad and his team in their election campaign?

A.Mr. Ahmadinejad will not run any campaign because we believe that he is one of the most famous presidents both inside and outside the country and he could not be introduced more than this ... The headquarters of Ahmadinejad's supporters, therefore, have been instructed not to oppose his rivals and avoid exaggeration about the government's performance. At the same time, they have been told to correct any misinformation provided by the President's rivals about the government ... We believe that what the Ahmadinejad administration did was pushing Iran's society with its class rifts toward returning to the values of the Islamic Revolution. From the ethical viewpoint, there are no classes in an Islamic society, so a man with great knowledge is considered to be more revered than others but no one has a better situation in society just based on his/her wealth, or someone with power or position is not superior to ordinary people. Both have one vote in elections and if they commit a crime they will be punished on an equal basis. Wealthier people should serve more.

We believe that from the era of Imam Khomeini until the 9th government, the country had been heading toward a society with class rifts like a monarchy and such trends have had precedents in our country. The late Imam, however, believed that the state is the servant of the nation as the Prophet (PBUH) did. The Prophet never sat in a better position than others in meetings and when he was among others, you could not recognize him. The Revolution was to spread this culture in society, so Ahmadinejad's team came to revive the Revolution's way of life and that's why the people chant slogans about [former President] Rajai.

Martyr Rajai led a simple life and Mr. Ahmadinejad put an emphasis on following suit in the last four years ... So Mr. President will follow this policy if reelected ... for example under Rajai the salaries of the cabinet members were cut by 75 percent.

Q.Has this payment cut been limited to the Rajai's administration?

A.The current administration has also cut payments to its members and some cabinet members including Mr. Ahmadinejad and myself, only receive payments from the universities we work with. That is the way of life that people are familiar with through the government's provincial tours. We believe that the country's wealth should be distributed equally among the people and in all parts of the country and we are against centralism.

Q.Has your campaign team targeted specific social classes?

A.Not at all; we have supporters both among the rich and the lowest income people. In our society, the rich do not necessarily accept capitalistic values.

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