Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani

Ayatollah Rafsanjani, the head of Iran’s Expediency Council, hsd called on the Islamic Republic establishment to “hold competitive, free elections that follow the letter of the law” and he recommended the exploitation of “skilled, effective and compassionate Revolutionary forces of all tastes” to find a way out of national difficulties.

At a meeting with a group of Iranian teachers, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani stressed: “At such a sensitive time when the country is under threat and sanctions by the enemies of the Revolution, conflict and arguments cannot lead to a solution.”

Ayatollah Rafsanjani has supported a plan to establish a “National Unity Government” inclusive of various political movements that support the Islamic Republic. Activists and media deemed close to Ayatollah Khamenei have condemned such a plan and argue that it would open the way for opponents of the Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei into the echelons of power.

Hashemi Rafsanjani has warned the establishment that powers that lack commitment to the Revolution have taken over the Islamic Republic government and sidelined the true supporters of the Islamic Republic regime. The moderate cleric appears to refer to the sidelining of the reformists in the past four years by the Ahmadinejad administration, which came to power with the support of conservative factions in the regime.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani has lost much of his influence in the past years after he decided to cautiously align himself with the challengers of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in 2009. While Ayatollah Khamenei chose to support Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2009 controversy, he has since had a number of disputes with him and is said to be looking forward to the end of his term in June 2013.