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The BBC's Jim Muir in Tehran
"Mr Khatami spelt out how reformists intend to proceed"
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Tuesday, 22 February, 2000, 18:28 GMT
Reformers promise freedoms

Muhammad Reza Khatami
The president's man - and brother

Iran's reformist politicians have set out their political priorities after sweeping to power in Friday's election.

They said political development and greater freedoms would top their agenda. Changes to press and election laws are also planned.

Their victory overturned the conservative domination of the country's parliament, which had previously blocked reforms by the moderate President Mohammad Khatami.

There is an upheaval taking place in Iran
Rajabali Mazrouei
Reformist politician
Mohammad Reza Khatami, the president's brother and a leading reform figure in the new parliament, said his Participation Front was committed to guaranteeing personal and social rights and freedoms.

He also called on the US to begin attempts to improve relations between the two countries.

But the reformists warned that their victory was a domestic success and not an indication that Iran was about to abandon Islamic principles.

Tehran vote Recording the reformist victory
Mohammad Reza Khatami said: "We still face hostile sanctions and allegations [of supporting terrorism] against us that are unproven.

"There is a better tone but no practical steps to pull down the wall of mistrust."

Another senior reformist, Rajabali Mazrouei, said the world "should understand there is an upheaval taking place in Iran and not try to think what is happening in Iran coincides with their own interests".

In Washington, the US State Department said it hoped the election result would bring about a change in Iran's relationship with the Western world.

Ambitious plans

The reformists believe they can push through their plans with or without the support of other groups - after only 20% of the conservative-dominated outgoing parliament was re-elected.

Mohammad Reza Khatami said he was optimistic that all factions would co-operate in passing reformist legislation, and that a clash with the conservative-dominated body set up to vet news laws could be avoided.

Economic issues, inflation and unemployment would also be given close attention, he said.

As part of the drive for greater social freedoms, a ban on satellite dishes - originally imposed to reduce the influence of Western culture - is to be lifted.

Mohammad Reza Khatami said that all laws introduced by the reformists would be in line with the Iranian Constitution.

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See also:
22 Feb 00 |  Middle East
Iranian politics: A family affair
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Iran vote welcomed

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