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Ayatollah Rafsanjani slammed by Iran's Minister of Intelligence

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Hashemi Rafsanjani

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, former Iranian president and current chairman of Iran's Expediency Council and Assembly of Experts is once more under attack by the Ahmadinejad government for siding with election protesters.

Iran's Minster of Intelligence, Heidar Moslehi condemned the "shocking" ideas of Ayatollah Rafsanjani which he maintained "are similar to the ideas proposed by the heads of the riots."

The Iranian government has tirelessly tried to portray the people's protests to the alleged vote-rigging in the June presidential elections as a foreign-backed conspiracy and a riot to topple the Islamic Republic. The disputing candidates, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have been dubbed as the head of the riots along with former president, Mohammad Khatami.

The Islamic Republic, however, has been hesitant about moving against the so-called "heads" because they are prominent personalities of the system.

The Minister of Intelligence who was speaking in a meeting at Qom seminary added that the government is preparing a lawsuit against the son of Ayatollah Rafsanjani.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who has moved cautiously in his support of the opposition, recently spoke out against the recent government policies against the opposition claiming the political atmosphere has become overtly restrictive and there is no tolerance for constructive criticism. He also pronounced the political disputes within the Islamic Republic establishment "very grave" while the government has repeatedly denied the existence of any crisis in the country.

The Minister of Intelligence expressed outrage that "Mr. Hashemi in one of his statements claims that three million educated students are against the system and also claims that Velayat-e Faghih (leadership of an expert cleric, now represented by Ayatollah Khamenei) should only be there as long as people want it. And if people don't want it, it would have to go."

Criticism of Velayat-e Faghih has been a strict taboo in the Islamic Republic which was broken in the post-election events because Ayatollah Khamenei rushed to Ahmadinejad's support even though there were nationwide doubts against the legitimacy of the elections and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory in them.

The post-election protests have created very deep divisions within the Islamic Republic establishment so the current government has found itself posited against its own and unable to justify direct action against this opposition. Accordingly the Minister of Intelligence claimed: "The integrity of the system has been challenged from within."

He added that the dimensions of the so-called conspiracy against the system go beyond the recent election and are yet to be identified.

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