Iran's presidential hopeful vows to protect "achievements" in nuclear program

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-5-12 11:50:05

Iran's presidential hopeful Ali- Akbar Velayati vowed on Saturday to protect the country's " achievements" in nuclear program.

Velayati, Iran's former foreign minister, made the remarks in his registration ceremony for Iran's upcoming presidential election slated for June 14.

He said prudence and dynamic diplomacy are required to safeguard the hard-won achievements of the country in this sector.

Velayati, who is affiliated with the Principlist Coalition of 2+ 1, said recently that amicable ties with neighboring states will serve Iran's national interests and guarantee its national security.

He will pursue a policy of detente with neighboring countries should he win the election, Press TV reported.

Velayati said he will try to expand bilateral and international relations with other countries, noting that he will not let Iran be driven into isolation.

Velayati, who currently serves as a senior advisor to Supreme Leader of the Islamic republic Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, stated that he will do his utmost to ease sanctions slapped on Iran by Western governments over the country's disputed nuclear program.

He said Iran has the ability to continue its peaceful nuclear energy program and improve its international ties at the same time.

Earlier, Velayati said that tackling unemployment and inflation will top his agenda, if he is elected president.

Meanwhile, Velayati said any next administration will need to bring change to the country's domestic and foreign policies in response to the nation's demands.

He asserted that any direct negotiations with the United States will be based on the guidelines outlined by Khamenei.

From the Principlist Coalition of 2+1, Tehran mayor Mohammad- Baqer Qalibaf, and lawmaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel will also run for the June 14 contest.

Candidates for Iran's 11th presidential election began to register on Tuesday and will end on Saturday. So far, over 450 hopefuls have registered for the campaign.

After the end of registration, the Iranian Guardian Council of Constitution will study the qualification of the candidates in two weeks.

The president of Iran is elected for a four-year term through a national election.

Posted in: Mid-East

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