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Jalili vows to resist the West

(AP)
Filed on May 26, 2013

TEHRAN - Iranís top nuclear negotiator, a candidate in next monthís presidential elections, vowed on Friday he will pursue a policy of resistance against the West if elected.

Addressing his first campaign rally in Tehran, Saeed Jalili said his priority in foreign policy will be to expand Islam’s influence in the world and counter “arrogance,” a reference to the US.

Jalili is considered one of the most hard-line of the eight candidates approved by the Guardian Council, Iran’s election overseers, to run in the June 14 race.

He is believed to draw much of his support from the Basij, the paramilitary branch of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard. Several prominent Basij figures and other hard-liners attended the rally. Jalili’s campaign slogan is “Resistance and Progress.”

Jalili said he is seeking to revive the revolutionary policies of the 1979 Islamic revolution that brought clerics to power.

“We are seeking to dry up the roots of the Zionist regime, the capitalist and communist systems. Instead, we promote the Islamic system,” Jalili said, echoing policy statements made by the Islamic Republic’s late founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. “This discourse rejects domination. This is the discourse of the Islamic revolution.”

Jalili said compromise brings misery and devastation.

“Resistance is the only way for progress,” read a banner at the rally. His campaign headquarters has been nicknamed “Surge of the Poor.”

Jalili has received the backing of several conservatives who backed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his 2005 rise to power.

Ahmadinejad lost conservative support in 2011, however, when he was perceived to challenge Khomeini’s successor, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all matters of state in Iran.

Jalili has cast himself as a die-hard Khamenei loyalist.


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