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Rafsanjani Breaks His Silence

Hashemi Rafsanjani heads the Assembly of Experts and the Expediency Council.
Hashemi Rafsanjani heads the Assembly of Experts and the Expediency Council.
The powerful former Iranian president and current chairman of both the Assembly of Experts and the Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, broke his two-week postelection silence over the weekend.

In a speech in parliament to honor the victims of a bomb attack 28 years ago on the Iranian parliament, Rafsanjani called the current crisis a result of "complicated sedition from secretive factions who are going to create a gap between the state and the Iranian people [and] escalate mistrust among Iranians about their political system." He did not offer specifics.

Rafsanjani stressed that "wherever Iranians participate in political decision-making with [sufficient] awareness, such conspiracies have been neutralized."

The emphasis on public "participation with awareness" appeared to be a veiled reference to Rafsanjani's support for recent rallies in Tehran and other cities. Rafsanjani backed reformist candidate Mir Hossein Musavi in the election.

Against a backdrop of pre-election tension with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Rafsanjani called his decision to allow an extension so the Guardians Council could examine candidate complaints a "valuable decision by the [supreme] leader to return public trust to the whole election process," adding, "We hope those responsible for this issue [the Guardians Council] can examine very precisely with justice in mind and with the cooperation of the candidates."

He said "proper elections" will turn rivalry into "unanimity, cooperation, and the transformation of competition to friendship after the election."

Rafsanjani warned that the "wrong reactions should not escalate ill will and division among the people, and everyone should move forward to eliminate [obstacles to] cooperation and unanimity."

-- Mazyar Mokfi