Report by Rooz Online
The sixth meeting of the fourth session of the Assembly of Experts on Leadership ended while Hashemi Rafsanjani's absence during the reading of the Assembly's final statement became a topic of debate. In the statement, members of the Assembly "renewed allegiance with revolutionary leader ayatollah Khamenei," announced their "absolute backing" for him, described him as "the sole choice that befits the robe of leadership" and added that he "had demonstrated his effective leadership more than even before during the election."
Although speeches delivered by members of the Assembly have always been kept secret from the public, with only bits and pieces being leaked to the outside, yesterday the Fars news agency published the entire text of Mashhad's representative to the Assembly, Alam al-Hoda, in a special report. Alam al-Hoda's remarks contained sharp jabs and criticism directed at the Assembly's chairman, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Mashhad's Friday Prayer Imam Attacks Rafsanjani
As reported by the Fars news agency, which is
affiliated with the Islamic Passdaran Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), in his
speech at the Assembly, Alam al-Hoda, who also is Mashhad's Friday Prayer Imam,
blasted Hashemi for "his silence in the face of unprecedented insults against
the leader of the revolution," and asked, "Why have you remained silent in face
of these unprecedented insults and the fire of division that is being fanned
from the tents of some in your circle?"
Alam al-Hoda invited Rafsanjani to "reform his behavior before it is too late" and claimed that the supreme leader's righteousness is an obvious matter. Addressing the Assembly of Expert chairman, he said, "The verdict of the pious in society and the verdict of history is that the supreme leader is innocent, and you have to answer for the supreme leader's innocence because you are the chairman of both the Assembly of Experts and the Expediency Council."
Supreme Leader's Performance Better Than "Ever"
In recent days, many were interested to see how
members of the Assembly of Experts would react to the country's recent events
and the supreme leader's performance.
The expectations rose when, on the first day of the recent Assembly meeting, chairman Hashemi Rafsanjani made statements that signaled the Assembly's desire to enter the stage in a bid to quell the crisis. In his speech, Hashemi had said, "some good-natured people are drafting a plan center around the supreme leader and experts' opinions to help change the country's atmosphere from the current situation to help have fair and correct criticisms without disturbances and clashes."
In these circumstances, many experts awaited the Assembly's concluding statement on Wednesday, which was issued during the conspicuous absent of the Assembly's chairman, and revealed deep rifts within the Assembly.
The Assembly's final statement was read by Ahmad Khatami, though the number of signatories to it was never revealed. The statement said, "We, while renewing our allegiance with revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khamenei, once again announce our absolute backing of him, who continues the path of the holy revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, and also announce him as the sole choice that befits the robe of leadership."
The statement's issuers also commented on Ayatollah Khamanei's performance during the recent crisis: "Undoubtedly, the supreme leader's wise actions in controlling events spiraling out of the tenth presidential election, and his resistance to doubts surrounding the nature and integrity of the election, are commendable and testaments to his wisdom and ability."
Hashemi's Meeting with Supreme Leader
Commenting on Hashemi Rafsanjani's absence during
the issuance and reading of the Assembly's final statement, the Mehr news agency
yesterday published an interview with Tehran's representative at the Assembly,
Seyyed Mahmoud Alavi. Responding to a question about Hashemi Rafsanjani's
absence and Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi's presiding over the session, Alavi
said, "It is normal for the chairman to leave the meeting due to certain events
that arise, and for the vice-chairman to take charge of the meeting."
Alavi also revealed that the "event" that arose was Hashemi Rafsanjani's meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei: "Yesterday, he had a meeting with the supreme leader and left the session, where he was absent for a few hours, but we all watched his speech during the opening of the session."
Hashemi Rafsanjani was absent during the issuance and reading of the final statement while Mohammad Yazdi, another vice-chairman of the Assembly and one of Hashemi Rafsanjani's most steadfast critics, was absent during the entire session.
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