Guest post by Jill Marie Parillo, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Very little press reported on Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s speech Sunday June 28, and I just don’t buy the analyses that are out there on it. CNN does have a better piece, which is more neutral. Most analyses claim that Rafsanjani is caving to Khamenei. For one, the speech does not sound to me (what I have heard translated into English) like a clear statement in support of Supreme Leader Khamenei, and it’s never a good sign when PressTV claims it to be true.
Rather, Rafsanjani said that he supported Khamenei’s decision to extend the Guardian Council’s time (by 5 days) to consider complaints of election fraud. In some ways this is only confirming that he thinks there was fraud and complaints need to be heard. Coming as no huge surprise, the 12 member Guardian Council confirmed today, after a partial recount, that the election was legal and Ahmadinejad is still President.
Rafsanjani also said Sunday that “suspicious” sources are involved in protests. This does not mean that he has the same perspective as Ahmadinejad and Khamenei, who are stating that “foreign sources” are provoking the unrest. Rafsanjani could be referring to terrorist groups, like the Mujahedin (MEK/MKO) who were blamed by protestors to be behind the bombing of
Ayatollah Khomeini’s tomb.
On Sunday Rafsanjani said;
“The developments following the presidential vote were a complex conspiracy plotted by suspicious elements with the aim of creating a rift between the people and the Islamic establishment and causing them to lose their trust in the system.”
This part about the Islamic establishment likely means that Rafsanjani supports the Islamic Republic. It does NOT say that he fully supports recent activity by the current Supreme Leader. He could still come out against Khamenei and for the Islamic Republic.
Rafsanjani is very powerful in Iran. He became President of Iran in 1989, after being the primary fund raiser for Supreme Leader Khomeini during his exile and speaker of the Majles (Iran’s Parliament) for nine years (1980-89). Rafsanjani is now Chairman of the powerful Expediency Council. The current President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has far less influence and power than Rafsanjani had as President.
It is true that the well paid and violent Basij forces are coming out in large numbers to quickly bash down any type of demonstration lately, but Iranians are still coming out to protest Basij violence and the election results. Only time will tell if this green movement will produce political change. It’s not over yet.