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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 March 2008, 10:23 GMT
Iranian voices on the election

Nearly 44 million Iranians are eligible to vote in their parliamentary elections on Friday 14 March.

Five Iranians from across the country explain who they want to vote for and what the key issues are for them.

FarhadVali-AllahShahramShirinYusef

SHIRIN, 27, TEACHER, SHIRAZ

The reformist candidates I would like to vote for have been disqualified [by the Guardian Council].

I don't like other countries to think of us as terrorists or enemies, which I think is what is happening now with the nuclear programme my country is pursuing.

All the effort Mr Khatami made to show us as a friendly country was in vain

Inflation has been soaring since sanctions were applied against Iran, it's a big problem and I think it's going to get worse.

People have problems finding enough work to make ends meet; they are taking two or three jobs at a time.

Housing is another problem. Inflation affects many aspects of life and can't be solved easily.

I voted for Ahmadinejad in the second round of the presidential election in 2005. He promised to do many things for young people and the poor, but he hasn't delivered.

For example, he promised to cut university tuition fees, but the cut applied only for one term and then everything went back to what it was before.

I think Ahmadinejad is trying to win approval from Iranians with his foreign policy speeches - and also approval from our regional neighbours - but I don't think he has been successful.

All the effort that [former president] Mr Khatami made to show us as a friendly country, was in vain.

FARHAD, 32, ENGINEER, TEHRAN

I want to vote for democratic and secular candidates. But finding them in the present political system would be a miracle.

Most young people here have the same attitude as me towards the government, but they dare not express their hate

I think the election will mark another step in [Iranian spiritual leader] Ayatollah Khamenei's attempt to make the political system more uniform and to reinforce his own theocracy.

Most young people here have the same attitude as me towards the government, but they dare not express their hate.

Inflation is out of control and has affected every aspect of life in Iran.

International sanctions make the situation worse, especially in healthcare. Vital drugs which used to be imported are now hard to find.

Mr Ahmadinejad always laughs off the international sanctions, because of his nuclear ambitions.

But if he were suffering from cancer and could not afford to go abroad for treatment, I don't think he would still be laughing.

Ahmadinejad is more puppet than human, and Khamenei is his puppet master. But this puppet exaggerates his instructions. If Khamenei tells him to rebuke his opponents, he executes them instead!

Ahmadinejad is the kiss of death for our economy, culture, education, international affairs, everything.

I think his popularity, even among supporters, is plummeting.

YUSEF, 30, SHIRAZ

This election is more important for the authorities than it is for ordinary people, that's why they are spending a lot of money to encourage high voter turnout.

This government is more trustworthy than some that depend on foreign powers to survive

This and the disqualification of reformist candidates for no good reason, means I won't be taking part this time.

It will be one of the few times that I do not vote.

I think the election results are already clear. Even if the reformists are allowed to take some posts - it won't last for long, they will soon be removed from power.

However, I like this government and I think it is more trustworthy than some that depend on foreign powers to survive.

That's why I think taking part in the elections is generally a good thing. But this time, in protest at the large number of disqualifications, I will not vote.

If there is a high turnout, the pillars of government will be strengthened, and it will show the outside world that Iranians like their government.

But the government should know that it cannot force people to support their policy of disqualifying candidates they don't like.

From BBCPersian.com

VALI-ALLAH MAHMOUDIAN, 45, ACCOUNTANT, TAFRESH, MARKAZI PROVINCE

I want to vote for moderates.

The economic situation is not Ahmadinejad's fault

The important issues for me are having faith in Islam and working for the benefit of the public.

Inflation puts us all under pressure. It makes life really difficult for all Iranians.

I voted for Ahmadinejad in the presidential elections of 2005 and I think he has kept his promises.

The increase in inflation and the worsening economic situation inside Iran are not his fault. They are the result of the sanctions imposed by Europe.

The higher the turnout, the more proof it is of Ahmadinejad's popularity.

Iran is working towards mutual peace and friendship with its neighbouring Arab countries. Nonetheless, Israel is still condemned and accused.

We also hope to reach compromise with Western countries on the issue of nuclear power.

SHAHRAM, 29, TEACHER, ESFAHAN

I will vote for candidates from the reformist "Eslahtalaban" grouping.

I am a teacher and I have another part time job - but I still cannot afford to get married

These elections will not deliver democracy - although I would like them to. That is the only way Iran can escape its problems.

Democracy takes time and energy, it cannot be injected into government quickly.

People need to work toward democracy, to prepare the ground for it.

I am a teacher and I also have another part time job - but I still cannot afford to get married.

I did not vote for Ahmadinejad in 2005.

He is a fundamentalist president - Iran needs democracy not fundamentalism.

I think his party will do badly in the elections. All our economic problems: inflation, the high cost of living will not help him either.

The nuclear ambitions pursued by Ahamadinejad's party are destroying our country.





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