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Moderate Iranian cleric Rafsanjani warns against "extremists"


Source: Radio Zamaneh

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran's Expediency Council, has warned against "extremists...trying to persist in the mistakes of the past eight years."

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ILNA reports that the moderate cleric told a gathering of entrepreneurs in Gilan on Tuesday June 11: "The extremist individuals and groups who are responsible for the current situation are trying to shirk responsibility and shift the blame on others."

"Unfortunately, mismanagement in recent years and deviation from the path of the Revolution has paved the way for the intensification of pressure by the country's enemies," Hashemi Rafsanjani added, "and now we see the most severe sanctions and threats imposed on Iran."

Iran has become highly isolated throughout Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidency in the past eight years.

Severe sanctions imposed on Iran have led to a steep decline in Iran's ability to sell its crude and other petroleum products abroad, which has in turn led to heavy inflation and the devaluation of the national currency.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was disqualified by the Guardian Council from running in the presidential election; some unofficial reports indicated that the top reformist candidate might have won the election by a landslide.

Hashemi Rafsanjani stressed, however, that there is still hope to exit the current crisis if a competent individual is elected for the presidency in an open election and takes the country on a wise and tempered road in the face of its difficulties.

He added that the current situation is no more difficult than the period that followed the Iran-Iraq War and he stressed that a strong and efficient government with qualified people in leadership positions could definitely overcome the problems.

Iran will hold its eleventh presidential election on June 14, and the only reformist candidate remaining in the race is Hassan Rohani.

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