"The 71-year-old cleric is head of the moderate opposition party Etemad Melli (National Trust) and the party's choice run in the June 12 elections...
"The cleric referred to the president's economic and foreign policies as the main problems of the current administration which should be amended.
"On the controversy over Iran's nuclear programmes, Karroubi said that Iran should insist on its internationally acknowledged right to pursue a civil nuclear programme but at the same also pay attention to Western concern and guarantee the peaceful nature of the nuclear projects. Karroubi served twice as parliament speaker, during 1990-92 and 2000-04. In the 2005 presidential elections, he missed reaching the second round by a few votes.
"Karroubi and his Etemad Melli party, which also runs a newspaper under the same name, have in recent years distanced themselves from reformists close to former president Mohammad Khatami, whom they feel has drifted away from the Islamic system that has ruled the country since the 1979 revolution."
In 2005, Karroubi significantly outpolled the more radical reformist Mustafa Mo'in, who stood out for his lack of charisma. Karroubi also tried to solve the problem of vote-buying in a system that uses the secret ballot by issuing a number of IOU's redeemable only if he won the election.
(Crossposted to American Footprints)