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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 17:23 GMT
Iran elections: Key people and parties
As Iran prepares for parliamentary elections, BBC News Online looks at the key parties and individuals shaping the political arena.


People to watch:
Parties: Conservatives

  • Militant Clergy Association: Secretary-general is Mohammad Reza Mahdavi-Kani
  • Islamic Coalition Party: Secretary-general is Habibollah Asgarowladi
  • Association of Islamic Revolution Loyalists: Secretary-general is Hasan Ghaffuri-Fard
  • Moderation and Development Party: Secretary-general is Mohammad Baqer Nowbakht
  • E'telaf-e Khedmatgozaran-e Mostaqel-e Iran: Spokesman is Emad Afruq
  • Iranian Nation's Welfare Party: Secretary-general is Khalil Ali Mohammadzadeh

    Parties: Reformists

    In 1999, 18 political groups announced the formation of the 2 Khordad Front (23 May Front, a reference to the date of President Khatami's election in 1997). The aim was to adopt a unified strategy and to field the greatest number of joint candidates in the 2000 elections.

    The group includes:

  • Militant Clerics Society: Secretary-general is Mehdi Karrubi, outgoing Majlis speaker. President Mohammad Khatami is also a member
  • Islamic Iran Participation Front: Secretary-general is Mohammad Reza Khatami, outgoing deputy Majlis speaker and President Khatami's brother
  • Executives of Construction Party: Secretary-general Gholamhoseyn Karbaschi, former mayor of Tehran
  • Society of Forces Following the Line of the Imam: Secretary-general is Hadi Khamenei (brother of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei)
  • Organisation of the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution: Secretary-general is Mohammad Salamati
  • Islamic Labour Party: Secretary-general is Abolqasem Sarhadizadeh, an outgoing deputy for Tehran
  • Workers' House: Secretary-general is Alireza Mahjub, an outgoing deputy for Tehran
  • Islamic Iran Solidarity Party: Secretary-general is Ebrahim Asgharzadeh

    There are also a few, small groups within the "New reformist front" and a few opposition groups.

    People to watch: Conservatives

  • Habibollah Asgarowladi: The long-time leader of the Islamic Coalition Association registered as a candidate for these elections but is reported to have pulled out, apparently to make way for conservative candidates running under the new name "Developers of Islamic Iran". As an old guard figure, he is thought to have been under pressure to step down to allow his faction to take on a younger, more modern image.

  • Asadollah Badamchian: A long-time member of the Islamic Coalition Association who also registered as a candidate but is reported to have stepped down.

  • Hasan Rowhani: A "pragmatic conservative" in the mould of ex-president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, Mr Rowhani has been in the limelight in recent months in his capacity as the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei's representative in the Supreme National Security Council. He stood in Tehran in the last elections but was not elected, and is thought to be a favoured choice among the conservatives for the next Majlis speaker.

    People to watch: Reformists

  • Mehdi Karrubi: The outgoing Majlis speaker has tried to play the role of peacemaker between the reformists and conservatives. He is a candidate for Tehran and is secretary-general of the Militant Clerics Society.

  • Mohammad Reza Khatami: An outgoing deputy speaker and the brother of President Khatami, Mohammad Reza Khatami is the leader of the Islamic Iran Participation Front. He stood as a candidate for Tehran, but was disqualified by the Guardian Council in January 2004. He appealed the decision and was among 116 MPs who resigned on 1 February. The ban has been upheld.

  • Mohsen Mirdamadi: The chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee and deputy secretary-general of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, Mr Mirdamadi was also disqualified and has resigned.

  • Behzad Nabavi: An outgoing deputy speaker, the former heavy industries minister has faced repeated but unsuccessful attempts by conservatives to implicate him in financial and political offences. He was disqualified in January 2004, appealed the decision and resigned on 1 February. The ban on his candidacy has been upheld.

  • Ali Akbar Mohtashami-Pur: Leader of the 2 Khordad Front reformist umbrella group in the outgoing Majlis and also a member of Militant Clerics Society. Although allowed to stand in the elections, he has pullled out, although other Militant Clerics Society members are still standing.


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