Wednesday Jan 18, 201704:05 AM GMT
Mousavi says Ahmadinejad twists truth
Sun Jun 7, 2009 11:17PM
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President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was warmly received in the northwestern city of Tabriz.
The fifth presidential debate has seen presidential hopeful, Mir-Hossein Mousavi accusing the incumbent president of lying to the nation on the economic situation.

"Why should we lie to the people and tell them that they have no problems at all," Mousavi said during a debate featuring him and reformist figure and former Parliament (Majlis) speaker Mehdi Karroubi.

Speaking on state television, Mousavi presented viewers with charts, which he said countered President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claims, which pinned the country's inflation rate at 16.55%.

Mousavi showed a central bank chart that indicated the inflation rate was 25.4%.

During a debate on Saturday, President Ahmadinejad said that his administration had lowered the rate of inflation to 15%.

"We have witnessed a surprising phenomenon (where Ahmadinejad) says black is white (deliberately twists the truth) and that two times two makes not four but 10," Mousavi said.

"Why should we lie to the people and tell them that they have no problems at all," he added.

He continued that he only joined the race in protest to Ahmadinejad's policies, which "has dragged the country to a point that it is full of contradictions."

With less than a week to the elections, the presidential campaign has come to be almost defined by personal attacks among candidates after Ahmadinejad broke a well known taboo in Iranian politics.

During his debate with Mousavi, he openly labeled former presidents Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami as corrupt, accusing them of slander and in the case of Rafsanjani and former Majlis speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, he added the charge of large-scale financial corruption.

Mousavi hit back at the allegations by saying that the president can run the country in two different ways; through adventurism, instability, grandstanding, heroic sloganeering, illusions, superficiality and a disregard for law; or through rationality and expertise.

The naming and shaming prompted the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to call on the contenders to refrain from "negating" each other.

"One doesn't like to see a nominee, for the sake of proving himself, seeking to negate somebody else," the Leader said in a speech commemorating the 20th anniversary of the death of the late Imam Khomeini, the Founder of the Islamic Republic.

"I have no problem with debate, dialogue and criticism but these debates must take place within a religious framework," he added.

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