July 17, 2009

Rafsanjani: “Let prisoners get back to their families”

Nico covered Rafsanjani’s sermon this morning as it happened, check out the full thread here (time stamp is 6:00).
Here are a few key excerpts:

People shouldn’t be in prison. Let them get back to their families. Our enemies are laughing at us (b/c we have put our people in prison).

Towards the end of the election campaign, some people were abusing the system, using the national television and radio… [speech in interrupted by jeers]… The majority of the people are suspicious of the election. Today is a bitter day. It is a bitter time. Everyone is losing. We need unity. We need unity more than ever today, given the numerous threats facing our nation.’

The trust of the people must be restored. This must be our priority. Everyone is within the framework of the law. We must proceed within the framework of the law. We should follow the legal paths. Restoring the peoples trust will not happen over night. Everyone should be able to say their words. IRIB and radio should give everyone a chance

First of all, everyone must accept the law. The people, the parliament, everyone. We must create a condition so that everyone can speak. We must speak logically. And a part of this is on the shoulders of the broadcasting corporation. The guardian council did not make good use of the extra fives days given to them by the leader. We do not need people in prison for this. Let’s allow them to return to their families. [More chants of Allah o Akbar] We must join hands with those who have incurred great loss and try to lesson their pain. We must give freedom to the press within the confines of the law.”

From these initial accounts, it seems Rafsanjani is laying out a framework within which the opposition will continue to press ahead.  But he has taken pains to assure the people that the opposition will operate within the bounds of the system–and that it will not pose a direct threat to the entire political establishment in Iran.

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