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Persian Letters

Hard-Liners Attack Rafsanjani's Daughter, As He Faces Pressure

Faezeh Hashemi attends a pro-Musavi rally after the June 2009 presidential election in Tehran.Faezeh Hashemi attends a pro-Musavi rally after the June 2009 presidential election in Tehran.
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Faezeh Hashemi attends a pro-Musavi rally after the June 2009 presidential election in Tehran.
Faezeh Hashemi attends a pro-Musavi rally after the June 2009 presidential election in Tehran.
A video has appeared on the Internet that shows several Iranian hard-liners verbally attacking Faezeh Hashemi, the daughter of former president and current head of the Assembly of Experts, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The hard-liners, who according to some reports were "plainclothes agents," insulted Faezeh Hashemi and called her a "whore." They chanted "Death to Rafsanjani" and threatened Faezeh Hashemi with violence.

The incident reportedly took place last week when Hashemi and her relatives were returning from a funeral ceremony.

Faezeh Hashemi has been harassed by hard-liners before (see video).

Iranian state media reported that she was briefly detained on February 20 during an opposition rally while "making blunt statements and chanting provocative slogans."

Iran's official IRNA news agency posted some pictures of her after she was detained.

Faezeh Hashemi has come under pressure over her support for the opposition Green Movement and mainly because of her father.

Under Increasing Pressure

Hard-liners have accused Rafsanjani of backing opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi during Iran's 2009 presidential election and being behind the postelection protests. Rafsanjani has also come under attack for condemning the postelection crackdown and calling for the release of those detained during and after the demonstrations.

Rafsanjani (left) has come under pressure for backing Karrubi (right) and Musavi.
In recent days Rafsanjani has reportedly been trying to distance himself from the opposition movement. He was quoted last week as saying that opposition protests are "haram," or forbidden under Islam.

He made the comments ahead of the elections for the board of the Assembly of Experts. Some hard-line officials have suggested that Rafsanjani should be replaced in the Assembly elections that are due to take place during its March 8-9 session.

Rafsanjani was quoted as saying on February 26 that he would not surrender to extremists. He said he would run in the elections to the Assembly of Experts regardless of the results.

In a rare move, state television recently showed a state-organized rally during which protesters chanted "Death to Rafsanjani."

-- Golnaz Esfandiari
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by: M from: USA/Tajikistan
February 28, 2011 11:42
Rafsanjani has vacillated a great deal in the past, and I don't think anyone---in the green movement or otherwise---can really put their faith in him. As head of the Assembly of Experts, he had a chance at making a real challenge to Khamenei's rule in 2009, and he didn't take it. Not to mention his 9 years as head of parliament during Khomeini and his time in the 90's as president were rife with repression. I think at this point he needs to make a clear stance if he is to remain relevant.

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Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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Seen anything in the Iranian blogosphere that you think Persian Letters should cover? If so, contact Golnaz Esfandiari at esfandiarig@rferl.org

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