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Last Updated: Friday, 28 April 2006, 16:17 GMT 17:17 UK
Postcards from Iran: Hamid-Reza
As part of a week of special coverage on Iran, the BBC World Service has spoken to a number of Iranians about the situation in their country and their fears of possible conflict over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

[Hamid-Reza is a member of Iran's Basij Resistance Force, an organisation that became famous during Iran-Iraq war for suicide attacks against Iraqi tanks or charging unarmed through minefields. Since the war, the Basij has shifted its attention to projects such as inoculating children and disaster relief.]

Hamid -Reza: "Not all of us agree with President Ahmadinejad's comments. We are a peaceful people"

My name is Hamid Reza. I am a member of the Basij militia and study political science in Qom. I would like to talk about poverty.

In Iran only a very small group have a comfortable life and the rest struggle and many live below the poverty line. I believe poverty causes many problems.

Basij rally
Basij members at a Friday prayers rally
Different governments have tried to deal with this issue but they have all failed.

Last year, in the presidential elections, many candidates talked about this issue and how they would tackle it.

I first voted for Hashemi Rafsanjani, who had been Iran's president from 1989 until 1997.

In the second round after hearing about Mr Ahmadinejad's policies to help the working class, I voted for him instead.

But now I feel if Mr Rafsanjani had come to power, things would have improved a little.

Mr Rafsanjani, in particular, would have been able to deal better with this nuclear crisis.


President Ahmadinejad is handling well the US aggression against Iran but he must be careful about the ideas he expresses in public.

We are a country still suffering from a war with Iraq which lasted more than seven years. We want to have nuclear energy but people don't want a war because of it.

We don't want the matter to be taken to UN Security Council and sanctions will only make the poor suffer more.

I hope the international community will make the right decision about Iran. When Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, said Israel should be wiped off the map, our circumstances were different.

It was just after the revolution and his comment was revolutionary rhetoric more than anything. But things are different now and President Ahmadinehad was wrong to repeat that comment.

His comments only led the world to think that we are a nation at war with everyone. Not all of us agree with his comments. We are a peaceful people.

I must say here that Mr Ahmadinejad has done a lot of good. He has his faults like everyone else but he also has a lot of good qualities. I would like to ask him to keep his promises to the Iranian people.


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