Today’s addition of etemadmeli (Karroubi’s official newspaper) discussed the burning question that seems to be on the minds of many in Iran and outside of Iran. The article titled ‘What Will Rafsanjani Say?’ makes the assessment that while no one really knows what Rafsanjani will say, the hugely significant sermon will likely assess and try to shape the movement for reform along the path laid out by recent events in the aftermath of Iran’s 10th presidential election.
The article quotes a senior member of the Theological Seminary of Qom, Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Mousavi Tabrizi who, while welcoming the return of the popular Rafsanjani to the Friday Prayer, urged Rafsanjani to pay attention and assess the issues that have unfolded in the past 7 weeks in which Rafsanjani has been absent from the Friday Prayer. Mousavi Tabrizi further encouraged Rafsanjani to “defend the rights of the people, the Friday Prayer must transform into a shelter for those who have been oppressed and seek protection in the arms of the leaders.” In addition, Mousavi Tabrizi would like Rafsanjani to use the Friday Prayer in pressuring the government for the release of those who have been arrested during the recent demonstrations.
The article also quotes Fatemeh Rakeey a member of the Islamic of Iran Participation Front. Rakeey, who also expects Rafsanjani to defend the rights of the people, believes that Rafsanjani’s return to the Friday Prayer provides a sense of optimism and hope. “Rafsanjani is positioned more to the center of Iran’s political spectrum and hence can use his position and influence to balance the conservative rhetoric that has been used by the government”.

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