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.
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, Rafsanjani called for the release of all political prisoners, and also for freedom of the press and assembly.” Since then, the Supreme Leader has implicitly indicated that 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, said in a recent interview with Radio Zamaneh that Iran’s Supreme Leader has a goal in common with the extremists in government, but his strategy is different in that he favours a more gradual elimination of the moderate cleric.