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Iranian Academics Call on Khamenei to Implement Radical Changes | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian senior cleric Ebrahim Raisi gestures as he meets grand clerics in the holy city of Qom, Iran, in this handout photo believed to be taken in April 2016. Tasnim News Agency/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

London – More than 100 university professors in Iran called on their country’s Supreme Leader to implement radical changes on various levels, including government-led institutions, to overcome living problems and achieve economic progress.

Professors, who work at 40 different universities, addressed an open letter on Wednesday to Ayatollah Khamenei, asking for extensive reforms and the implementation of national strategies to boost the Iranian economy.

The professors underlined the importance of the role of government institutions, including the ministry of foreign affairs, the judiciary, as well as security and economic bodies in executing development strategies.

They also expressed their readiness to meet with Khamenei to present their vision on the changes needed.

On a different note, the electoral campaign office of Iran’s main conservative candidate, Ebrahim Raisi, denied any role in the presence of former Prosecutor General Saed Mortazavi during Raisi’s electoral tour in an Iranian city on Tuesday.

Mortazavi, whose role in torturing demonstrators has been condemned by human rights groups for years, was sentenced last year to 135 lashes on corruption charges.

The photo of Mortazavi joining Raisi’s electoral tour has sparked wide controversy on social media networks, which forced Raisi’s office to issue a statement denying any close relationship with the former prosecutor general, who was a friend of ex-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Meanwhile, Iranian Vice President and presidential candidate Eshaq Jahangiri said nobody wanted Iran to go back to war and the era of threats and sanctions.

In an interview on Wednesday with a local radio station, Jahangiri defended the performance of President Hassan Rouhani’s government over the past four years, underlining the need to preserve security in the Persian state.

The vice-president was one of the six presidential candidates to address the Iranians via a radio program that covers electoral campaigns.

Last week, Iran’s Guardian Council announced a list of six approved presidential candidates, including incumbent president Rouhani, Jahangiri and Raisi, in addition to Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Mostafa Mir-Salim and Mostafa Hashemitaba.