Iran's Rezaei promises economic reform

May 15, 2009 at 4:53 PM
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TEHRAN, May 15 (UPI) -- Conservative Iranian presidential contender Mohsen Rezaei has employed economic reform as part of his campaign platform ahead of the June vote.

Rezaei, a former commander of the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps and a top challenger to incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the country needs to adopt sweeping economic change to meet its ambitious national strategies, Press TV reports.

Rezaei, a harsh critic of Ahmadinejad and his economic policies, officially adopted "economic rescue" as a campaign slogan, campaign manager Davoud Danesh-Jafari said.

His economic message is in line with earlier campaign pledges regarding the economy, which relies heavily on the energy sector.

Rezaei had earlier blamed the Ahmadinejad administration for more than $1 billion in missing oil revenue, promising voters it would be returned.

A national audit in February for the Iranian Parliament found a $1.1 billion budget surplus from oil revenues was not turned over to treasury officials.

Ahmadinejad denied any wrongdoing from his administration.

Ahmadinejad faces stiff opposition for the June 12 vote from Rezaei in the Principlist camp and former Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi on the Reformist ticket.

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