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Rafsanjani Sets Conditions for Friday Sermons

By Rooz Online

Following Hashemi Rafsanjani's absence from the Friday prayer sermons, news sources have reported four conditions set by him to resume Friday prayer sermons.

Rafsanjani speaking at the Friday Prayers on July 17

Since July 17, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who heads the Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts, and serves as one of Tehran's Friday prayer leaders, has refused to attend the sermons. His absence as Tehran's Friday prayer leader has been riddled with speculation in political circles.

Rafsanjani's Remarks at a Meeting with Former Lawmakers

In his meeting last week with several former lawmakers, the head of the Expediency Council revealed his "conditions" for resuming Tehran's Friday prayers.

The Tehran Emrooz daily, close to Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, quoted a former Majlis lawmaker as having revealed four conditions set by Hashemi Rafsanjani for resuming Tehran's Friday prayers during their meeting. This former lawmaker in the fourth Majlis said that Hashemi Rafsanjani's conditions were the same as those proposed by him to the "regime leadership" in his July 17 Friday prayer sermon.

During his last Friday prayer sermon on July 17, which was accompanied by supporting slogans from green movement supporters, this veteran politician called for the release of political prisoners, supporting those injured in recent events, rebuilding relations with grand ayatollahs and clerics who were insulted and enticing the state radio and television to allow for various viewpoints to be discussed. None of these conditions were taken seriously by power circles in Iran. Instead, Hashemi Rafsanjani was harshly attacked by supporters of the administration.

Following these remarks, in a meeting with the regime's senior leader to celebrate the end of Ramadan, from which Hashemi Rafsanjani was conspicuously absent, ayatollah Khamenei chastised "certain elite who are silent in face of the enemy's conspiracy." That statement was used repeatedly by media outlets close to the coup government to address Hashemi Rafsanjani.

One person who was present at the meeting with Hashemi Rafsanjani told Rooz, "Without naming any specific individual, Hashemi warned against the growth of a movement that seeks to ignore the regime's achievements and implicate everyone who cares about the regime."

... Payvand News - 11/19/09 ... --

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