FORMER IRANIAN PRESIDENT COY ON CANDIDACY.
"The ground has been prepared for [Expediency Council Chairman and former President Ayatollah Ali-Akbar] Hashemi-Rafsanjani's candidacy," Rahmani-Khalili said on 13 October, according to Fars News Agency. Speaking the same day to a meeting of political leaders who were calling for him to run, Hashemi-Rafsanjani said there is plenty of time before candidates register for the May 2005 presidential election, IRNA reported. The secretaries-general of the Islamic Labor Party, Labor House, Islamic Civilization Party, and other organizations were at the meeting. Hashemi-Rafsanjani went on to say that he favors the participation of "young and highly skilled manpower." In an 8 October meeting with clerics in Qom, Hashemi-Rafsanjani reiterated his stance that he will be a candidate only if it is necessary, ISNA reported. "I have said repeatedly before that if no one else is prepared to run for the presidency, I will be prepared to enter the arena again to manage the country in sensitive circumstances. However at present, I am waiting for another suitable person to do the job," he said. "I am still waiting for a suitable person to run for presidency." BS
Source: RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 195, Part III, 14 October 2004
posted on 10/15/2004 10:49:08 PM PDT
UNEMPLOYMENT IN IRAN REACHES 27 PERCENT.
National Youth Organization head Rahim Ebadi told "Sharq" of 14 October that, "currently, the unemployment rate has reached 27 percent." He went on to say that the government is trying to reduce the unemployment rate to 15 percent and added that half of his organization's assets go toward creating work opportunities for young people. The World Bank's Country Brief on Iran states, "The rate of unemployment dropped in 2004 for the second year in a row, reaching 11.2 percent (from 14.7 percent in 2002)." Approximately 700,000 jobs must be created annually to account for new entrants in the work force, according to the World Bank, but only about 500,000 have been created. BS
Source: RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 196, Part III, 15 October 2004
posted on 10/15/2004 11:19:51 PM PDT
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