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Basijis should be standard-bearers of moderation: Rafsanjani

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Expediency Council Chairman Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has said that the Basij volunteer forces should be standard-bearers of moderation and avoid extremism.

Basij attacking protesters in Tehran on December 27, 2009
Basij militia played a leading role in suppressing the opposition protests after June 2009 elections

"The Basij, like its founder (late Imam Khomeini), should be the standard-bearer of moderation in cultural and social affairs," Rafsanjani said in a letter released on Friday on the anniversary of the establishment of the Basij organization in 1979 on the order of Imam Khomeini.

Related Article: Ayatollah Khamenei accuses opposition of power-mongering
Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a gathering of Tehran's thousands of Basij militia members that election protesters of 2009 put their desire for power above the interests of the country.

As a great national asset the Basij should not carry out extremist actions under the influence of "political brouhahas" and should not be "polluted" by the political groups that are trying to take advantage of the Basij to achieve their political goals, he noted.

Rafsanjani added this people-based organization should only try to serve the interests of Islam, Iran, and the Islamic system and fight against those who are acting against Iran and Islam.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rafsanjani praised the role of Basijis in defending the country during the imposed war (1980-88 Iran-Iraq war) and supporting the Islamic system and government since the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

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