IRAN: Raucous Ahmadinejad debate roils presidential race
"Respectable candidates should pay attention to what they say during their debates, talks and speeches on TV and the media. They must not conduct negative campaign against other candidates.... I myself do not have any objection to candidates having debates, dialogues and discourse, but this should be done on the basis of correct and religious principle. Candidates themselves should know that they should not let their campaigning cause unrest in the country."
"During the televised debate ... between Mr Ahmadinejad and Mr. Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mr. Ahmadinejad threw constant slanders and lies against Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani and his children, which created a doubtful atmosphere for the elections. Since no opportunity existed for defense, we plead that you issue an order, before the time runs out, that a suitable opportunity is given on the same network to respond and make the issue transparent about the defamatory remarks."
"Ahmadinejad started very well and Mousavi was indeed struggling to find the right words at the outset but I think, as the debate continued, Mousavi became more composed and assured in his remarks. I think the biggest mistake was to pour scorn on Mousavi's wife, Zahra Rahnavard. Women will not like the president for this and it only served to enrage Mousavi who delivered a very forceful counterattack, preventing Ahmadinejad from interrupting him, and effectively ending the debate on a winning note."