- Title: IRAN: Mousavi, Iran's main threat to Ahmadinejad, launches presidential campaign
- Date: 4th June 2009
- Summary: TEHRAN, IRAN (RECENT) (REUTERS) YOUNG SUPPORTERS OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MIRHOSSEIN MOUSAVI WALKING HOLDING POSTERS YOUNG WOMAN HANDING OUT GREEN FLAGS FOR MOUSAVI CAMPAIGN
- Reuters ID: LVA5M7WPGFBZI4XW8F7J1GBVL3SW
- Duration: 00:00:10
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Story Text: Iran's Hard-line president's main challenger Mousavi kick-starts his presidential campaign with the backing of former President Khatami.
Mirhossein Mousavi, seen as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's main contender in the June 12 election, kicked off his campaign in the Iranian Capital.
Hoping to win votes from reformers and conservatives, the former prime minister addressed his female supporters at Tehran's Cultural Complex.
"We will make arrangements in unofficially educating women, which will make them suitable for employment opportunities and the job market," Mousavi told the 500-crowd of chanting women.
The bespectacled, bearded 67-year-old enjoys the support of reformist former President Mohammad Khatami -- who campaigned alongside him in a recent rally.
"This is another opportunity for my elder brother Mr Mirhossein Mousavi -- a religious person, an open minded individual, one who empathises with the revolution, the nation and community, and is concerned for their character and reputation -- this is unquestionable," said Khatami before sporting the green flag, traditionally worn in the Islamic Republic to represent purity and holiness -- the preferred colour of Mousavi's campaign.
Mousavi has promised to change the "extremist" image that Iran earned abroad under Ahmadinejad and has hit out at his profligate spending of petrodollars and cash handouts to the poor, which he says have stoked rising consumer prices.
But Mousavi's bid to unseat the current leader could be undermined by another contender, Mehdi Karoubi, whose liberal outlook could split the vote among those avid for political and social change.
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