News / Middle East

Rafsanjani Calls Iranian Leaders Ignorant

Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani attends the biannual Assembly of Experts' meeting in Tehran March 8, 2011.
Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani attends the biannual Assembly of Experts' meeting in Tehran March 8, 2011.
Reuters
Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has accused Iran's leadership of incompetence and ignorance just days after he was barred from standing in an election next month, the opposition Kaleme website reported on Thursday.
 
Rafsanjani's comments appeared to add to the political conflict between those loyal to the leadership and opposition groups who have been marginalized since post-election unrest in 2009.
 
“I don't think the country could have been run worse, even if it had been planned in advance,” Rafsanjani said to members of his campaign team on Wednesday, according to the Kaleme report. “I don't want to stoop to their propaganda and attacks but ignorance is troubling. Don't they understand what they're doing?”
 
Before he was disqualified from next month's presidential election, the 78-year-old Rafsanjani caused high interest in a ballot many believe was a race between hardliners. He attracted the endorsement of reformist groups whose leaders had disputed the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
 
Rafsanjani did not indicate specifically who he was addressing but after the unrest following Ahmadinejad re-election in 2009, he criticized the authorities' heavy-handed response and has since been regarded as a threat to the establishment.
 
The two-term president warned of “dangerous” threats from the United States and Israel, which have threatened to use military action against what they suspect is Iran's development of nuclear weapons.
 
He said he had not realized his candidacy would create a wave in the country but that it was a sign of people's despair. Now was the time to stay calm, he said.
 
“In no instance should people despair. There will be a day when those who must come, will come,” he said, an apparent reference to advocates for political and social reforms who have been sidelined.
 
With Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad's close ally, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, now out of the picture, the election field is again dominated by hardliners loyal to Iran's clerical leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
 
Rafsanjani's ally Hassan Rohani, a former nuclear negotiator, and reformist Mohammad Aref, remain in the contest.
 
Rafsanjani said the experiences of rebuilding the country after the Iran-Iraq war was one that was needed now. He was elected president in 1989, a year after the war ended, and his administration came to be called the “government of reconstruction”, an era when economic rebuilding and reform put Iran back on its feet.
 
“The foreigners called me “easy man” because it took no time before the doors opened. Now that experience could be easily used again, except back then, people were sympathetic.”
 
According to the report, Rafsanjani - regarded as one of the founding fathers of the Islamic Republic - said he should not have run.
 
“There was a flood of letters and telephone calls from Najaf, Qom and Mashhad, all major clerics for my candidacy. How could I be so obstinate and say no to them, especially to the youth?”
 
Analysts say he was disqualifed from the election because the campaign had already become hugely popular and he was regarded as a threat to the leadership.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Role in Fighting IS Carries Domestic Risks

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system More

Asian-Americans Enter Public Office in Record Numbers

A steady deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid