Iran 2017 presidential candidates offer political, cultural plans in 2nd live debate

News ID: 3970611 -
TEHRAN, May. 05 (MNA) – A week after the first debate, the six candidates racing for Iran's presidency convened at the same TV studio to attract the most voters in their favor.

The second debate among the six candidates of the 12th Iranian presidential election has been aired live on state television.

The candidates will outline their political and cultural plans for the post. They were given an equal time to garner as many votes as possible in order to win the ticket to the office.

Presidential debate soon diverted from cultural and educational issues to political spat between President Rouhani and Tehran Mayor Ghalibaf. From the very beginning when Ghalibaf was asked to present his plans for speeding country’s educational and scientific growth, he accused Rouhani’s administration of corruption recounting that a lawsuit has been concluded against Rouhani’s education minister smuggling Italian clothes into Iran.

Mr. Mirsalim was the second candidate who went behind the lectern and he was asked how he would deal with his opposition parties, critics, and minorities and how he would preserve the national solidarity. Mirsalim highlighted that critics should not be labeled with indecent words or government ministers should not bully the journalists. Ghalibaf was asked to give his opinion about the same question and Mr. Mirsalim’s remark. Mr. Ghalibaf said that he would let academicians freer and criticized Rouhani’s administration for not giving enough freedom to its critics.

Mr. Ebrahim Raeisi was asked how he would defend the rights of the nation in terms of the nuclear deal known as the JCPOA and how he would react to Westerners’ breach of promises. He asserted that he would have a mighty and strong government following up the rights of the nation. Raeisi underlined that he would not turn blind eyes to Westerners’ disloyalty to the agreement. He criticized the current situation that the government of Iran has practiced full commitment to all articles of the nuclear agreement but the banking limitations have not yet been removed. Mr. Rouhani did not accept the criticisms and articulated that the JCPOA has removed all nuclear sanctions and the scientisits of the country are even more active than the past.

Mr. Hashemitaba was the next candidate being given a question. Hashemitaba was asked what the top priority of his administration’s foreign policy would be and how he would support the resistance axis and how he would counter terrorism in the region. Hashemitaba referred to the holy book of Quran, to prove that it is wrong to insult the enemies as it would entail further tensions. Jahangiri touched upon the same issue with stressing on support for artists and athletes as they represent Iran and Iranian culture. He mentioned Asghar Farhadi, who has won Oscar academy twice, and praised him for representing the rich of Iran’s cultural heritage. He also asserted that soft power the same as hard power is important and called for internal solidarity. Mr. Raeisi highlighted the passage of transit routes from Iran as a key to strengthen Iran’s soft power. Ghalibaf also addressed the issue with repeating his plan to change Iran’s Foreign Ministry into Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Mr. Rouhani said that his administration took advantage of the lever of the foreign policy. Hashemitaba criticized those who label investors as leeches or bloodsuckers.

Mr. Jahangiri was the one before the last candidate to open a question and he was asked what his plans would be to continue the current status of country as the safest country in the region. He boasted that Iran’s cultural power can accompany Iran’s political might. He said that dialogue, compromise, peace, and serenity are needed to strengthen Iran’s current status of stability. He said that President Khatami enlivened Iran’s economy and policy with his idea of ‘dialogue between civilizations .He also criticized those who try to bipolarize society with fake poles.

Hassan Rouhani earned the last question as his name was the last taken out of the pool. He was asked what in his opinion the difference is between the Iranian style of life and western lifestyle. He was required to recount his plan to promote the local lifestyle in the face of domineering western culture. To answer this question Rouhani asserted that his administration has improved the quality of people’s lives drawing a comparison between today and the year before his presidency that inflation rate was high and people had to buy more stuff lest the prices would soar. 

In the second part of the debate Mr. Jahangiri was the first to answer the questions. He was asked what his administration’s plan would be to promote the cultural values of the country. He said that the artists and creators should be given more freedom and when a permission is issued nobody is allowed to bar that activity whether it is a film or a music concert. He also said that teachers should be provided with better conditions.

“What is your practical plan to enhance the qualifications of students?” Mr. Ghalibaf was asked. He said that to put into practice any plan the approach undertaken by the executive manager is important. He said that the current administration is saying that resources are not enough to make any change. The Tehran mayor said that his administration would be able to make changes.

Mr. Mirsalim was the third candidate given a question in this round and he was asked how he would harmonize interaction between the three branches of the establishment. He underlined that the executive branch is the practical hand of the establishment in Iran and it is important that the government is fully committed to the laws passed in the Parliament.

Mr. Hashemitaba was the fourth candidate in this part. He was asked how his administration would undermine the negative effects of the cyber space and how he would empower the positive sides of the phenomenon. He said that the model successful in Japan or the US should be used to help children using the internet.

Mr. Rouhani was asked how he would control his cabinet members not to take advantage of their position to acquire more wealth than the usual routine of society. He said that there were unfortunately people with low-profile appearance whose government was the least trustworthy administration with numerous cases of bamboozle and corruption.

Mr. Raeisi was asked how he would improve the quality of teachers’ lives. He said that it has been a question of long time not solved for many years. He said that the issue should be addressed once forever.

At the final part of the second debate Mr. Jahangiri was given time to wrap up his statements of the day. He called for all walks of life to vote for hope.

ٍMr. Ghalibaf concluded with calling for all candidates to unveil a list of their own and their relatives’ properties and possessions  

Mr. Rouhani used his last time to ask the nation if his administration had done no good thing.

Mr. Hashemitaba was the last candidate to speak at the second debate and he praised the martyrs and those killed in action as those who knew how to live.

Mr. Raeisi criticized the current administration for making the society afraid of rivals. He described the approach immoral.

The third and last debate will be held on next Friday, May 12, at 16:30 local time.

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