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18 June 2024, 09:30

Iran presidential hopefuls hold first live debate on national TV


TEHRAN, 18 June (BelTA - IRNA) - Iranian presidential hopefuls have held their first debate broadcast live on national TV ahead of the June 28 election that will choose a successor to the late president Ebrahim Raisi.

The nearly four-hour debate began at 20:00 local time Monday, focusing on economic issues.

All six candidates approved by the Guardian Council participated in the debate, taking questions from the presenter and responding to issues raised by each other.

Four more debates are due to be held in the coming days, with the last one set to take place on June 25, three days before voters go to the polling stations across the country to cast their ballots.

As part of their campaiging process, the presidential candidates are also given equal platforms on other TV programs to elaborate on their plans to administer the country.   

Saeed Jalili, Alireza Zakani, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, Massud Pezeshkian, Amir-Hossein Qazizadeh Hashemi, and Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf are the six candidates running for president.

Here are some of the comments made by the hopefuls during the Monday night debate:

Qalibaf

The government should guarantee that economic problems are resolved in cooperation with the people and investors, he said.  

If elected, Qalibaf added, he would make plans, which in addition to tackling inflation, would lead to economic growth and uphold people’s rights, noting that investment and productivity are both needed to achieve an 8-percent economic growth, the second one in particular.

Pezeshkian

To achieve an 8% economic growth, Pezeshkian said that the goal cannot be achieved without “opening borders with other governments” as it needs $200 billion a year.

He added that participation by all political parties, which should put aside differences, is also needed to achieve that amount of economic growth, while producers must be given space to decide and act without being concerned about the security of their investments.

Pourmohammadi

He shared the same view that a solution to economic problems cannot be offered without looking into social as well as domestic and international political issues.

He also said that sanctions are hampering trade ties with other countries, as “all of our ties have been locked”. National reconciliation is needed as well to resolve international issues, while work is required to attract people’s trust, Pourmohammadi added.

Qazizadeh Hashemi

“People are fed up with promises”, he said, adding that the president should introduce the team and the method required for taking any measure.

He believes that the private sector should work with the government as a “strategic partner” as part of efforts aimed at achieving an 8-percent economic growth.

Zakani

The main problem of Iran’s economy is not “cruel US sanctions” but its “economic prescriptions”, he said, adding that he has four main pillars to bring economic growth through using domestic, regional and global opportunities.

The first and foremost is economic independence and stabilizing the economy through de-dollarization and relying on the national currency, he said.

Jalili

He said that attracting investment is not the only way to achieve economic growth.

What is more important is participation by people from all walks of life, while the government must pave ground for different groups of people to play their part.

He also shared the same view that national reconciliation is needed among efforts to achieve an 8-percent economic growth.   
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