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National Trust

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National Trust

Etemad-e Melli

Etemad-e Melli

The formation of the National Trust Party began with the 2005 presidential election. Mehdi Karroubi, who at that time was the Secretary-General of the Association of Combatant Clerics (MRM), ranked third in the first round of the election. Karroubi publically challenged the fairness of the election and suggested that military forces had illegally interfered in order to put him into third, rather than second place. If he had been in second place, he - rather than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - would have entered the run-off and possibly defeated Ali Akbar Rafsanjani in the presidential race. In the aftermath of the election, Karroubi wrote an open letter to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei criticizing the electoral process and announcing that he would resign from all official positions.  Because he felt that the MRM had not sufficiently supported him during his challenge of Khamenei, he left the MRM and announced that he was going to found a new party, the National Trust. Prominent members of the party include Rasul Montajabnia, a former member of the MRM; Mohammad Javad Haghshenas, a former deputy of the Ministry of Interior and the editor-in-chief of the official newspaper of the party by the same name; Reza Hojjati, a former member of the Office for the Consolidation of Unity; and Esmail Gerami Moghaddam, the official spokesman of the party.

National Trust regards itself as being committed to reformist goals and the ideas of Ayatollah Khomeini. In the 2009 elections, Karroubi’s campaign had the most radically reformist tone among the four presidential candidates. He advocated amending the Constitution to increase the rights of Provincial Councils and to annul many state monopolies that were specified in the 1979 Constitution.[1]  He also advocated nationalizing oil profits by distributing stocks of the National Company of Oil to all adults older than 18, and sharing the monthly profit, estimated at 70,000 tomans a month per adult.

According to the results published by the Ministry of Interior, Karroubi ranked fourth in the 2009 elections with only 300.000 votes – even less than the number of invalid ballots cast. Karroubi, along with the other reformist candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, declared the election invalid and stated that he would not recognize the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad’s new government.

The organizational components of National Trust are a Constituent Board, Congress, Central Committee, Secretary-General, and a vertical division into sector, branch, division, and member. The highest authority within the party is the Congress. It is held once a year, and elects fifty-five main members and six alternate members of the Central Committee. The Central Committee elects the Secretary-General.

 

[1] BBC Persian, April 13, 2009, http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/iran/2009/04/090413_em-karoubi-statement.shtml.

Official Website: http://www.etemademelli.ir/