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Iranian establishment eyes elimination of moderate cleric

Source: Radio Zamaneh

Moderate cleric, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani will be eliminated from the Assembly of Experts in the next elections, an aide to Iran's Revolutionary Guards announced.

Hashemi Rafsanjani
Rafsanjani during his historical Friday prayers sermon
in July 2009 where he criticized the supporession of the opposition protesters

MohammadHosein Safar-Herendi told a group of academics in Shiraz: "Hashemi's actions have been completely corrupt and he has still not repented. According to our knowledge of his character, we do not feel that he will repent and his fate could becme like those of Montazeri and Shiriatmadari," referring to two Iranian grand ayatollahs that did not support the Islamic Republic establishment.

Elections for the board of directors of the Assembly of Experts will be held in two weeks. Hashemi Rafsanjani is both the Chairman of the assembly and a member of its board of directors.

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, former president and chief support of the reformists amongst the clerics, has been implicitly condemned by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei for supporting the protesters in the presidential elections of 2009 when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory was challenged by MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi with allegations of fraud.

In his last Friday Mass sermon in Tehran, Hashemi Rafsanjani called for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of press and assembly." Since then the Supreme Leader has implicitly indicated that Hashemi Rafsanjani has failed the test of his loyalty to the regime.

Last week pro-government crowds were shown on national television shouting "Death to Hashemi!" and many Islamic Republic hardliners have called for his prosecution and dismissal from his government posts.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani is the Chairman of the Expediency Council as well as the Assembly of Experts. The Assembly of Experts is comprised of expert members of the clergy elected by the people for 8-year terms. The assembly is charged with supervision of the actions of the Supreme Leader.

Ahmad Ghabel, an Iranian political analyst had said earlier in an interview with Radio Zamaneh that regarding Ayatollah Rafsanjani, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is pursuing the same objective as the extremists in the government however with a different strategy favouring a more gradual elimination of the moderate cleric.

... Payvand News - 02/22/11 ... --

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