Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Publish date: February 23 • Printable version    

Rafsanjani insists on Leader's role in maintaining peace

Chairman of Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani

Iran’s Assembly of Experts met for a two-day meeting starting today. The Chairman of the Assembly, Ayatollah Rafsanjani opened the session speaking of the Supreme Leader's role in the recent unrest claiming that in the post-election events, Ayatollah Khamenei's "care" made sure "the unpleasant incidents which took place, did not flare up the scene.”

ISNA reports that Ayatollah Rafsanjani claimed the Supreme Leader kept everything under his “close care” during the post-election events. He added that in the recent events, everyone is “at fault” and if the Supreme Leader “continues in the same vein and others also cooperate, we will reach our goal sooner.”

In the past eight months, people have repeatedly staged demonstrations to protests against the alleged election fraud that brought Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back to another term in presidency. The government has confronted protesters with unprecedented violence with at least 40 deaths, over five thousand arrests, as well as heavy sentences for political dissidents and journalists.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani, one of the most powerful figures in Iranian politics, first came out in favour of the opposition calling for renewed elections. However, with the passage of time his messages have become more cryptic. He has recently been quoted several times saying that the only person who can take the country out of its current crisis is the Supreme Leader, a statement which some hardliners interpret as an insult to the leadership.

Today, Ayatollah Rafsanjani once more emphasized the role of Ayatollah Khamenei is returning peace to the country and called on the Assembly to endeavour hard to re-establish social unity. The Chairman of the Assembly declares that “the unpleasant events that have happened of late have been unprecedented and caused differences, possibly grudges and other issues.”

He expressed a hope that the damages suffered by “families, government officials and all protesters” may be compensated. Earlier he was quoted as saying that all political prisoners should be released.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani also maintained: “There is a dividing line between Revolution loyalists and those who are against the system and the Supreme Leader. This line must not be obscured.”

Iranian opposition leaders have made every effort to emphasize that their demands are constitutional and they are by no means after a regime change.

Iran's Assembly of Experts

The Assembly of Experts will hear reports from Foreign Minister, Manochehr Mottaki and Commander Aziz Jafari, Revolutionary Guards Commander in this session.

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