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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 June 2005, 10:02 GMT 11:02 UK
Papers set stage for Iran vote

Iran's newspapers are pitching sharply-worded arguments for and against the two remaining candidates ahead of Friday's decisive presidential run-off vote.

Some say pragmatist cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president, has had his day already. Another believes hard-line Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmedinejad poses a threat to the country's future.


Taking part in the second round is essential for democracy's survival... Voting for Rafsanjani also requires analysis. The first point is that a Rafsanjani presidency over the next four years would be similar to his presidency which ended in May 1997. But in actual fact, the political, cultural, social and economic atmosphere of the country has changed and it is not possible to revive those days again.

Aftab-e Yazd [reformist]


Why should we be worried about the fact that Ahmedinejad who has served the people and country for years and has legally run in the election becomes the president through the people's votes? What is going to happen if he becomes the president?

Hamshahri [conservative]


Rafsanjani is not dependent on any political group and is not in debt to any political party or band. His heterogeneous supporters are supporting him to defeat their factional rivals and it does not mean that they agree with him. These are the same groups who have been Rafsanjani's enemies during the last two decades... and in the 1997 elections they reached the peak of their hostility.

Jomhuri-ye Eslami [hard-line]


The hard-line and extremist views of Tehran's ultraconservative mayor have no place in this 21st century world we live in. The prospects of an Ahmedinejad presidency are indeed scary and contrary to the best interests of the nation.

Iran News [moderate]


Now that one of the conservative candidates has found his way to the second round of the election, the Iranian neo-cons won't listen to their elder leaders and will surge ahead... The Coordination Council [hard-line body which nominates candidates], which once said that lightweights shouldn't take part in the election, has witnessed a big defeat.

Mardom-Salary [moderate]


The result of the first round of the election increased the awareness of Iranians and inflamed their political interests... Fearing the future and a shift of power that may happen in the election, Iranians are listening to their common sense that says tomorrow's election is different to previous ones. It may revolutionise their future.

Iran [moderate]


Iran faces another decision day tomorrow. This vote - more than any other - may determine the future of our glorious homeland. Don't stay home on Friday. Stand up and be counted.

Iran News [moderate]


The Americans are trying to plot against Iran and create a crisis for the country. However they have been slapped in the face in the first round of the election. Now they are dreaming about a 'velvet' revolution in Iran but these dreams will not materialise. The two election candidates are not figures who take orders from America.

Resalat [conservative]


Now we are not even two nations under one flag. We are an incomplete nation with uninformed masses. Masses who don't have assets, don't read newspapers, don't use internet and electronic media, don't travel, don't even eat at restaurants, they are not members of parties or unions, and don't vote. Will this mass vote for us tomorrow?

Sharq [reformist]


The result of the first round showed the Islamic Republic of Iran is stronger and more powerful than it seemed... The result of the second round, whatever it may be, is the people's respected choice, and the next president will be the president of all Iranians.

Kayhan [hard-line]


BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See Iranians turning out to vote in the first round




MIDDLE EAST PRESS PROFILES
 

SEE ALSO:
Q&A: Iran's election issues
15 Jun 05 |  Middle East
Profile: Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani
17 Jun 05 |  Middle East
Profile: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
18 Jun 05 |  Middle East


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