Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran’s Expediency Council, told a meeting of Sunni clergy and activists in Mashhad: “The problems of the Sunni community in Iran have to be addressed, and they should be given a chance to serve the community and influence it equitably.”

The Fars News Agency reports that Hashemi Rafsanjani stressed that the demands of the Sunni community are national demands and have to be addressed as such.

“The standard of living of the Sunni community in Iran should be such that it makes our country a model in the Islamic world,” Hashemi Rafsanjani said.

Referring to the widespread participation of the Sunni community in the June presidential election, he said: “You, our Sunni brothers, have legitimate demands, like all other citizens of the country, that need to be addressed.”

The election results show that Hassan Rohani received the highest number of votes in the two provinces where Iranian Sunnis are in the majority. Rohani received 73.3 percent of the vote in Sistan-Baluchistan and 70.85 percent in Kurdistan.

Following his victory, president-elect Hassan Rohani met with senior Sunni leader Mowlavi Abdolhamid to discuss the concerns of Sunnis in Sistan-Baluchistan.