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Feared member of Iran's Islamic establishment announces his run for presidency

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 21st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Ali Fallahian, One of the most highly feared figures of Iran's Islamic establishment has announced his candidacy for president. Fallahian has been connected to the wholesale murder of political dissidents in his native land. Iranians are set to go to the polls this coming June 14.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A member of Iran's Assembly of Experts who served as intelligence minister under former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, Fallahian is on Interpol's wanted list for his alleged participation in the 1995 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

"People's requests to me have reached a threshold; my candidacy in the presidential vote is definite," he said in announcing his presidency.

Running unsuccessfully for president in 2001, Fallahian said his campaign slogan will be "Advanced Islamic Country." Stabilizing prices and fighting inflation will be among his priorities.

Fallahian had seemed to suggest that if he were elected he would halt Iran's controversial uranium-enrichment program. "Enough of nuclear. We don't want nuclear enrichment, we have already mastered its knowledge," he said.

He appears to be seeking improved ties with the United States. "Given the many offers made by the Americans at different occasions, and the U.S. need for Iran's support to create stability in the region -- including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Tunisia, and Egypt -- I see a bright horizon for the ties between Iran and the U.S," he said during his announcement.

Interpol has remained adamant that they would like to see Fallahian in custody. He is the second Iranian official on Interpol's wanted list to announce presidential aspirations.

The other is Mohsen Rezai, secretary of Iran's Expediency Council and a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Rezai said on February 19 that he will officially announce his candidacy in the coming days. Rezai is also suspected of playing a role in the Buenos Aires Jewish center bombing.

Fallahian is notorious for being connected with several murders and disappearances of Iranian intellectuals while he was serving as intelligence minister from 1989 to 1997.

Rights groups and a German court have linked the 68-year-old to several such murders, both inside and outside the country, and he has also been implicated in the 1992 assassinations of three Iranian Kurdish opposition leaders.

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