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As one of the main pillars of power in the Islamic establishment, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani played a significant role in what became the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979. Depending on one’s political affiliation, Rafsanjani to this day is still either highly respected or highly feared in the internal political circles of Iran.
Rafsanjani 75, a pragmatist who deep inside believes in reforms to sustain the Islamic Republic, is the head of two very important institutions; the Assembly of Experts, which is an oversight and an electoral body to choose the Supreme Leader, and the Expediency Council that is the author of all macro policies in Iran. The Expediency Council is also a mediator for the legal disputes between the Guardian Council and the Parliament.
This past summer, it wasn’t long after the first bloody protests and after Ayatollah Khamenei issued his ultimatum to the protestors that Rafsanjani proposed his own solution to the crisis. Eight months later today, he continues to reiterate his previous positions. He is moving forward to try to build a process for reconciling the reformists and hardliners in the hopes that they might pull the country out of the present crisis.
Hasan Rouhani, head of the Defense and National Security Commission within the Expediency Council, is now moving forward on a piece of legislation to decrease the Guardian Council’s role in the election process. The proposal would create a new National Election Committee to oversee the election process, cutting the influence of the Supreme Leader and eliminating the role of the Guardian Council.
Although this legislation has to be approved by the Supreme Leader to become law, it is such a compelling idea that Khamenei might have to think twice about rejecting it. If it does win approval, it just might be the momentum Rafsanjani is looking for to seek a national reconciliation.
Rafsanjani: National Healer?
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