Saturday, June 17, 2006

Reformists Ask Rafsanjani to Run for Experts Assembly

Hamed Irani, Rooz Online:
According to a Rooz reporter, a number of reformist parties have asked veteran Iranian politician Hashemi Rafsanjani to run in the upcoming Majles-e Khobregan-e Rahbari (Experts Assembly for Leadership) election.

Ali Meshkini's failing health will not allow him to run for another term to lead the Assembly. There are reports that hardline and extremist groups have made extraordinary efforts in advising Hashemi Rafsanjani against running for the Experts Assembly position. READ MORE

A recent disruption of a speech that Rafsanjani was delivering in Qom was attributed to ultra-conservative groups opposing the cleric and are said to have taken place in the same light. Such efforts are interpreted as parts of a larger scheme to remove Rafsanjani from the political field altogether, including the Majles-e Khobregan. Those pursuing such practices and goals favor their own candidate, ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi who is known to be very close to the current administration and military-security figures.

Members of the Majlis (Iran’s Parliament) minority group comprising mostly of reformists, recently applauded a letter that former Majlis leader Mehdi Karroubi had sent to ayatollah Ahmad Janati in which he criticized Janati’s exaggerated praise of president Ahmadinejad.

While appreciating the timing of Karroubi's letter to Janati, Rafsanjani had called it a sign indicating the positive role of the faction in criticizing the administration. Rafsanjani had also called for protecting the achievements of the country during the last 25 years, while criticizing the current situation and atmosphere over the country.