Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, whose attempt to run in the upcoming presidential election was quashed by the Guardian Council, has thanked his supporters and, without referring to the reasons for his disqualification, he urged them to nurture the “unity that has risen among moderate reformist and conservative forces.”
Hashemi writes that when he stepped forward at the last minute to register as a candidate, it was against his own wishes and those of his family, but he bowed to popular demand in an effort to move Iran toward “justice, moderation and national growth.”
He adds that he has urged his campaign headquarters to “nurture the opportunity that has sprung from the unity of moderate reformists and conservatives and use it as a new beginning to promote their movement.”
Hashemi Rafsanjani had tried to join the presidential race as the representative of reformists and a number of top conservative figures. The Islamic Republic hardliners, however, reviled the moderate cleric from the moment he registered as a candidate and finally, after rumours emerged that the Guardian Council would have to consider a top age limit for presidential candidates, Hashemi, 78, was disqualified without any official reason given.
In the 2009 presidential election, Hashemi sided with those who challenged the victory of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and this earned him the fury of hardliners including Ayatollah Khamenei.