Early Sunday morning, reports started circulating in Tehran that former president Mohammad Khatami will announce that he will not run in the upcoming presidential elections, leaving Mehdi Karrubi and Hossien Mousavi as the only reformist candidates running against Ahmadinejad , the expected consensus candidate among the hardliners for re-election to another four-year term as president.
The news got more intriguing when at 4pm Tehran’s time (9am EST), Mousavi visited Karrubi at his Tehran residence. Mousavi is said to be ready to drop out of the race, making Karrubi the consensus candidate of the reformist camp.
This week, Karrubi announced an ambitious plan to “re-nationalize” Iran’s oil industry, creating a public trust with all Iranian citizens over the age of 18 having one share. The trust will eventually control the country’s oil and gas revenues.
Karrubi’s proposal closely resembles the plan for creating a national unit trust, with Iranian citizens as its shareholder, proposed in 2005 by this writer and his colleagues. The trust management was proposed to be elected by the public, its shareholders. The trust would control the oil and gas revenues, paying income tax to the government and using the bulk of its revenues on investing in business ventures to create development projects for the country.