According to reports by Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) from Tehran, interim Friday Prayer Leader of Tehran, Hojjatoleslam Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Friday suggested those who analyze the results of the recent nationwide city and rural areas' councils elections to be "realistic, rather than keeping accusing one another."
Addressing thousands of worshipers at Tehran University's central campus, Rafsanjani termed the discussions over the results of the councils elections as "extremely important debates," adding, "such debates call for a comprehensive analysis which I will personally present thoroughly in a future Friday Prayer sermon."
The head of the Expediency Council further emphasized, "we all need to heed the realities behind the (nationwide) councils' elections, and those who wish to present analyses on the issue should refrain from presenting biassed, factional, politically motivated, and rent-seeking accounts to secure their own interests."
The hojjatoleslam all the same clarified, "I do not mean to accuse any certain faction, but maybe all are in a way responsible, and if we wish to present a comprehensive analysis, I will tell you about the the truth of the matter."
The interim Friday prayer leader said that after the May 23 (presidential) elections Iran has usually been witness to a decreasing number of voters at the election polls, while the country's population has been constantly increasing, arguing, "the analysts and experts should survey the matter and clarify the cause."
"During the last elections in the course of my tenure as president 30 million people attended the ballots, which was a magnificent victory that was never again repeated, while each year the number of the potential voters has increased between one to 1.5 million persons.
Rafsanjani added, "today we are witness to a sharper decline in people's turn out at the polls, which is not a blessed phenomenon."
He said, "we should first of all figure out what caused the decreasing trend of the people's participation at different elections.
The head of the Expediency Council said, "the recent elections had many messages for us, and although a 50 percent turnout is an acceptable norm globally, but we expect higher participation of our nation, since this political system has taken shape based on the people's will, and we need to keep on relying on the people's continuous support, a 50 percent turnout is not satisfactory for us."
He added, "in recent elections even some previous claims that the Guardians Council's filter has resulted in such and such aftermaths, too, was quite ruled out and representatives of all factions, from the religious-patriotic candidates and the Liberation Movement figures to the extremists and even those who introduce themselves as the opposition forces of the system were all present among the candidates, and the foreign radio stations, too, tried hard to propagate for them while Tehran was saturated with their various types of campaign stuff."
Emphasizing that the matter calls for deep contemplation, Rafsanjani referred to the various analyses presented in the press on the issue, arguing, "one of the newest hypotheses on the roots of the constantly declining number of voters in different elections is that the black picture presented by each of the two main ruling political factions of the other one, has led to the loss of the prestige of both, and this has inflicted a big loss against the whole system, leading to lowering the level of public participation."
Hojjatoleslam Rafsanjani added, "maybe that is true, but presenting this bleak picture of the system is not a new phenomenon, since it started after the May 23 (presidential) elections, and some people even tired to put under question mark the era of (the Iraqi imposed) war, and the late Imam Khomeini's performance."
The interim Friday prayer leader of Tehran said, "one of the significant results of the recent councils elections was that the news media affiliated to such oppressor regimes as England and the United States, as well as the anti-revolutionary forces realized that all their efforts have been spent in vain, and the votes of those on whom they have invested so dearly could be counted using the fingers of two hands, while they had counted on gaining millions,"
Hashemi Rafsanjani said, "I had a report from a private gathering of an opposition group, in which they had urged their members either to make sure they will gain at least one million votes in Tehran Constituency, or to abandon the elections all together."
He reiterated, "the day after the elections we noticed that some of them, who were quite well known in Tehran, and the people were familiar with their mentalities, got real low numbers of votes, and even the names of some of them were not among the mentioned ones in the results lists."
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rafsanjani said, "we have always advised the Americans not to be fooled and cheered by a few deceived youth who are urged to pour into the streets and commit some deeds, that are either the kids of the anti-revolutionaries, or the (former intelligence service of the Shah) Savakies, or even the children of the (Islamic) revolution, who have now acquired other ways of thinking and analyzing."
He furthermore criticized the American policy makers for "not noticing the millions of people who (recently) poured into the streets of the cities and villages of Sistan and Baluchestan Province "to welcome their (Supreme) Leader", or the rallies by tens of millions in nationwide demonstrations on the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, but "look with a magnifying glass for a few hundred (dissidents), choose them, follow their track, allocate budgets to them, and provide them with communications means, such as radio and TV programs and stations to speak up.
"It goes without saying that the United States is a big fool, since it is idiocy for a superpower to follow the tracks of such trivial factions, while ignoring the will of the masses representing a whole nation," said Rafsanjani.
He also considered the city and rural councils elections as a practical answer to the bullying of the Americans, "even if that would be the only benefit of the said elections."
Elsewhere in the second sermon, the head of the Expediency Council referred to the sensitive status of the Middle East region and the atrocities of the Israelis towards the Palestinian nation.
He argued, "although the crimes committed by the Israelis in Palestine are drastically intensified today, the human rights activists who even care much for the hens' rights and try to safeguard their interests, have quite shut their mouths up."
Hojjatoleslam Rafsanjani added, "Mr. Bush does not see the (numerous) crimes committed by the Israelis, but when the Palestinians took a trivial revenge yesterday in Haifa, he immediately called on (the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon on the phone and condoled him on the matter."
Calling (the US President George W.) Bush "a metamorphosed human being," the former Iranian president said, "the United States intends to impose a catastrophe over the Iraqi nation, and clearly announces its plans for Iraq's future, ignoring the daily anti-war, anti-American demonstrations, as if God has appointed the Americans as the sheriff of the global village with unlimited rights to do what pleases them."
The prominent Iranian politician predicted, "the Americans will definitely be defeated if they enter Iraq this time, and if Saddam's regime would not succeed in doing so, the Iraqi nation, after getting rid of Saddam's gang, will take good care of the Americans' problem."
Rafsanjani warned the Americans against "bloodshed in pursuit of cheap oil" which he said is due to their aggressive mood, reminding them of the massacre of tens if thousands of British forces in Afghanistan, that will this time be repeated with Iraqis killing the Americans.
He ruled out the possibility of the return of peace to the region if the Americans manage to change the Baghdad regime either resorting to a psychological war, or if they do so resorting to military force, arguing, "the oil reserves (of the region) will definitely be damaged and the (international) oil market's chaotic conditions would deteriorate, while further sharp fluctuations are to be taken for granted."
Hashemi Rafsanjani added, "dreaming of having access to cheap oil with Americans at the oil wells will never come true and it is simplicity and among the endless temptations of the oppressors due to their baseless haughty attitude."
He advised the American policy makers to make the best of the few remaining days and not to make hasty decisions regarding the fate of the Middle East.
... Payvand News - 3/8/03 ... --