Ali Motahari

Ali Motahari, a conservative Member of Parliament, today called on reformists to take part in the parliamentary elections in March and urged the Guardian Council not to disqualify nominees for having links to reformists.

Iranian media report that the Tehran MP said: “An energetic election for the ninth Parliament, with 70-percent participation, would stop further sanctions and discourage [foreign powers] from considering a military attack.”

He added: “The coming elections are a golden opportunity for the Islamic Republic to improve its domestic and international situation, make up for all shortcomings and disappoint the enemy.”

He urged the establishment to make every effort to “attract the majority” to politics.

He urged the Guardian Council to refrain from disqualifying nominees for “having links to Mousavi and Karroubi elections headquarters or having protested against the results of the presidential elections.”

MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the reformist candidates in the 2009 election, alleged that vote fraud was behind the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The massive election protests were violently suppressed, and the two opposition leaders have been under house arrest since last February.

In recent weeks, reformists have announced that they are boycotting the parliamentary elections because the government has failed to open the political arena, release political prisoners and guarantee a transparent election process.

Motahari urged reformists to avoid mixing the issues around the last election with the upcoming one, and to take part for the good of the system.