Tuesday, January 04, 2005

MP Elyas Nadran attacks and Larijani defends Rafsanjani

Larijani calls Rafsanjani a leading figure: "Larijani calls Rafsanjani a leading figure
TEHRAN, Dec. 31 (MNA) -- Former IRIB network director Ali Larijani on Thursday defended former president and incumbent Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, saying that that Rafsanjani is one of the leading figures of the Islamic Revolution and everyone should respect him.
“We all know that Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani is one of the celebrated figures in the revolution and should be respected,” said Larijani in reaction to harsh criticism of Rafsanjani by conservative MP Elyas Nadran.

On Wednesday, Nadran criticized the performance of the government of Rafsanjani from 1989 to 1997.

Commenting on Nadran’s statement in parliament, Larijani told the Mehr News Agency that the background of such verbal attacks against Rafsanjani goes back to the run-up to the six Majlis election in the year 2000, in which the reformists took most of the seats.

Rafsanjani won a seat in the 2000 Majlis elections but never took his seat.

“The attack against Rafsanjani is a legacy of the Second of Khordad Front. It took roots before the sixth Majlis, and all should avoid such moves,” the former TV network director said on the sidelines of a conference convened by officials responsible for holding the celebration marking the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

A month before Rafsanjani decided to run for parliament, the reformists praised him, but as soon as he registered for the elections they made charges against him, Larijani remarked.

Rafsanjani has not yet announced if will stand in the presidential election. The reformist Servants of Construction Party and the Islamic Labor Party both support the Rafsanjani candidacy.

Larijani, who is also the Leader’s representative at the Supreme National Security Council, went on to say that civility is one of the main positive points of elections in Iran and that is one of the achievements of the Islamic Revolution.

He said that some hands are at work attempting to cause a rift between the conservatives and Rafsanjani, which he thinks is not correct.

The conservatives are aware of Rafsanjani’s position and he also knows the value of the conservatives.

Asked whether he would still run for president if Rafsajani decided to enter the race, he said, “Don’t rush things. Let the atmosphere take shape. Many changes will happen and definitely the conservative camp will decide.”

He added that he would support any decision by the conservative camp.

The conservative Coordination Council for the Islamic Revolution Forces Committee plans to field only one candidate among its five potential candidates, namely Larijani, former foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad, Tehran MP Ahmad Tavakoli, and former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and current secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Reza’i."