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Iran: Dispute escalates between MP, senior cleric


Source: Radio Zamaneh

Iranian MP Hamid Resayi has once again attacked Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of the Expediency Council, in Parliament, accusing the senior cleric of power mongering and being in line with enemies of the system.

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani

Resayi had previously spoken out against Ayatollah Rafsanjani, referring to the recent release of his son, Mehdi Hashemi, from prison as favouritism.

Resayi's verbal attacks against the Rafsanjani family on December 18 drew the ire of the Tehran Prosecutor, who filed a complaint against Resayi with the Special Court for the Clergy. The Tehran Prosecutor stressed that the judiciary is completely independent in its actions.

Mehdi Hashemi recently returned to Iran after a three-year absence and was immediately arrested on charges of fomenting the protests that followed the 2009 election.

Hashemi has denied the charges against him and was released last week on bail.

Today, Resayi once again slammed Ayatollah Rafsanjani and accused him of lending support to election protests, referring to the senior cleric's call for the release of political prisoners in July of 2009 during his Friday Mass Prayer speech in Tehran.

He also accused Ayatollah Rafsanjani of trying to repeat the unrest that followed the 2009 election by calling on the Supreme Leader to ensure "open and free elections."

The 2009 election was marred by allegations of fraud, and although reformists wanted a recount of the votes, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei chose to back Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory and crack down on the election challengers.

The Rafsanjani family and the reformists have been severely sidelined since the 2009 elections, causing a deep rift in the Islamic Republic establishment.

A statement from Ayatollah Rafsanjani in response to Resayi's earlier attacks was read out in Parliament today; in short, it accuses Resayi of "defamation and slander" while making references to Ayatollah Rafsanjani's history of service to the Islamic Republic.

Khabaronline reported that the statement was summarized due to lengthiness.

Hashemi Rafsanjani also calls on the Special Court for the Clergy to prosecute Hamid Resayi for slander against his family.

Mahmoud Alizadeh, the lawyer for the Rafsanjani family, has announced that Ayatollah Rafsanjani's three children, Mehdi , Fatemeh and Mohsen, have filed an official complaint against Hamid Resayi, which should lead to a summons of the MP within 10 days.

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