TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a political rival of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for a fair and thorough examination of complaints about this month's disputed election in Iran.
Breaking a post-election silence, Rafsanjani described developments after the vote as a conspiracy by suspicious elements aimed at dividing people and the Islamic system and also targeting people's trust in it, news agencies reported.
"Wherever the people entered the scene with full alertness such plots were foiled," the ISNA and IRNA news agencies quoted him as saying on June 28, without elaborating.
Rafsanjani, an influential figure since the founding of the Islamic Republic three decades ago, backed the election campaign of moderate former Prime Minister Mirhossein Mousavi and was fiercely criticized by Ahmadinejad on television.
Official results showed that Ahmadinejad won the June 12 election by a landslide, sparking days of street protests by supporters of Mousavi, who says the vote was rigged and wants it to be annulled.
In his June 28 statement, Rafsanjani praised a decision by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week to extend by five days a deadline for Iran's top legislative body to receive and look into complaints by the three defeated candidates.
"This valuable move by the Supreme Leader in order to attract the people's trust towards the election process was very effective," Rafsanjani told a meeting of families of victims of a 1981 bombing in Tehran that killed many senior officials.
"I hope those who are involved in this issue thoroughly and fairly review and study the legal complaints," he said.