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Iran's Supreme Leader Demands Support From The Elite

Report by Radio Zamaneh

Ayatollah Khamenei and Ayatollah Rafsanjani

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei's meeting with the members of the Assembly of Experts was another step at mending the evident cracks of division that have revealed themselves in the body of the ruling clergy in Iran. The Supreme Leader emphasized that the silence of the chosen people of the society in these circumstances "aids and abets sedition."

Following June presidential elections in Iran, the defeated candidates accused the government of vote-rigging, so nationwide mass protests took shape on the streets demanding nullification of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory.

The Supreme Leader refused to give in to people's demand for a recount and instead endorsed violent crackdown on protesters which resulted in the killing of tens of people as well as thousands of arrests and reportedly widespread torture of detainees.

Today Mr. Khamenei once more described the protests as a defeated preplanned foreign conspiracy. He also warned the assembly members that the Islamic elite should take care that "their actions and declarations do not compliment the objectives of detractors of the system."

The comments were in particular directed at the chairman of the Assembly of Experts Ayatollah Rafsanjani who during the unrest, aligned himself with the demands of the opposition for a vote recount and justice for the victims of the recent government attacks on protesters.

The Assembly of Experts, that started its meeting on Tuesday and was brought to a speedy conclusion yesterday in the absence of Ayatollah Rafsanjani, did not allow any media coverage until the chairman had left the meeting.

Despite the apparent precautions, today Mr. Rafsanjani expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting informing the leader that they had been able to have "good discussions concerning recent issues."

Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who is known for his astute diplomatic maneouvers in the Iranian political scene, has lent his support to the opposition in ebbs and flows. But despite the full endorsement of Ayatollah Khamenei in the final statement of the Assembly of Experts, some prominent Shiite clerics such as Ayatollah Dastgheyb, Ayatollah Montazeri and Ayatollah Sanei continue to openly condemn the government's violations of the laws chartered in the country's constitution.

... Payvand News - 09/25/09 ... --

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