Iran's Rafsanjani backs Supreme Leader Khamenei

Rafsanjani defended the system of Shi'ite Muslim religious rule that gives Khamenei ultimate authority in Iran as its supreme religious jurist.

Iran's Rafsanjani backs Supreme Leader Khamenei

Veteran politician Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a key figure in Iran's ruling elite, expressed support for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday following a election last year.

Addressing the powerful Assembly of Experts, which he heads, Rafsanjani defended the system of Shi'ite Muslim religious rule that gives Khamenei ultimate authority in Iran as its supreme religious jurist.

"Our focal point is clear and that is the constitution, Islam, the principle of the office of the jurisprudent and supreme leadership," he said.

"There are those who do not recognise these, but that is not the case with the majority of people in our society. It is very important for us to try to safeguard these."

Rafsanjani said Khamenei had tried to ease the political unrest following the vote.

He pointed to Khamenei's order to close the Kahrizak detention centre in June after prisoners died there amid reports that people held in post-election street clashes had been mistreated.

"The events that took place at Kahrizak and the consoling of those who were hurt in these events, or the release of those who were arrested, have been along this axis. (The leader) is vigilant that there should be no turmoil," he said.

The 86-member Assembly of Experts, which meets twice a year, supervises, appoints and in theory can sack the Supreme Leader.

Rafsanjani last week criticised the International Atomic Energy Agency for a report that said Iran may now be working to develop a nuclear-armed missile.

"Western governments welcomed the report and showed what lies behind this matter," he said on Tuesday. "The intensity of the propaganda atmosphere has never been of this magnitude ... we cannot be sure this is not the calm before storm."

Reuters

Last Mod: 23 Şubat 2010, 14:32
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