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Economy early platform for Iranian candidates

April 25, 2013 at 9:58 AM

TEHRAN, April 25 (UPI) -- Fixing the Iranian economy is moving to the top of the political agenda as presidential hopefuls develop campaign platforms, candidates said.

Officials said they are looking to move the Iranian economy away from oil. Iran's currency devalued substantially in part because of economic sanctions targeting its energy sector.

Presidential hopeful Mostafa Kavakebian, a reformist leader, told state-funded broadcaster Press TV he was developing an economic platform ahead of the elections.

"In our campaign slogan, the first letter stands for creating a strong economy," he said. "I promise to lower inflation to below 20 percent and unemployment to below 10 percent."

Presumptive candidate Ali Akbar Velayati, a former foreign minister and senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said he'd move the economy more toward the industrial and agricultural sectors.

Candidates can register formally for the presidential race May 7. Elections are scheduled for June 14.

Two-term Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said a high voter turnout would send a message of strength to Iran's adversaries. He's ineligible to run again because of term limits.

Iranians elect president for a four-year term. Candidates are vetted by the 12-member consultative Guardian Council.

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