Rafsanjani confirms he’s running for Iran’s presidency
Powerful Iranian cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani announced on Monday that he was standing again for president in the country's June 17 election, official media said.
The issue of the presidency is my current preoccupation and although I would like somebody else to take this responsibility, I think I should take this bitter medicine, Rafsanjani, who heads the Expediency Council was, a powerful policy-making body, was quoted as saying by official IRNA news agency. READ MORE
He has for months been openly mulling a bid to take back Irans number two job, and has been widely seen as a front-runner for the presidency.
Analysts expect Rafsanjani, a moderate conservative who held the presidency from 1989 to 1997, to win in the countrys June 17 vote.
"What I didn'twant to happen is happening now."
Rafsanjanis broad political support and reputation make him a strong candidate to replace outgoing cleric Mohamed Khatami, according to political analysts.
Khatami, who struggled for eight years against hardline resistance to his policy of improved social and political rights, is not allowed to run for a third consecutive term.
"The return of Rafsanjani may revive the faded glory of the presidential office and also serve to create a unifying force since he appears to be acceptable to most, if not all, sides of the political divide," the liberal Iran Daily has said.
"Perhaps Rafsanjani may not come back on a popular vote like Khatami, but the aura of power and authority surrounding him may yet make him the most suitable person for the top job."
June's elections come as Iran faces mounting international pressure over its nuclear program as well as discontent among the Iranian people about the cost of living and lack of jobs.
"There are many good and able figures in the country but there are no strong (political) parties to introduce them and people will not vote for someone unless they know them well," Rafsanjani, said on Monday.
The western media is going to love this. They want to believe he is a moderate. But his past statements make it clear that he is anything but a moderate:
"If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world."This is the man the western media wants to run Iran. The people of Iran despise Rafsanjani. Rafsanjani ran for parliament and lost. He is considered by many as the real power behind the regime and perhaps it most corrupt. Now is not the time for self-deception.