Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hashemi's Friday sermon leads to accusation that he supports opposition

Hashemi Rafsanjani's July 17, 2009, Friday sermon was notable for a variety of reasons including his explicit criticism of the Guardianship Council, his emphasis on the doubts about the election that were widespread in Iran, his mention of the alienation of senior 'ulama (Sources of Emulation), his view that restrictions on the press be lifted, and his call for the release of people imprisoned during the recent demonstrations. He calls for open dialogue, and does so in the explicit context of preserving the Revolution.

Some commentators have noted that Hashemi is a denizen of the system, and that is true; however, his carefully parsed speech is apparently being viewed by supporters of Ahmadinejad as proof that Hashemi is with the opposition. Indeed, he is accused of playing a major role in fomenting the crisis. For instance, see the following item (translated by the OpenSource Center) from the Fars news agency.

The OpenSource Center translated the item.

"Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi has accused Ayatollah Hashemi-Rafsanjani of supporting the post-election "riots."

"Mohammad Yazdi, who is a member of the Guardian Council, referred to the statements of Hashemi-Rafsanjani at 17-July Friday prayer sermon and asked: "Why did Mr Hashemi-Rafsanjani remain silent for a long time after the election? Is the silence not a kind of support for opposition groups and endorsement of the recent riots?"

"Yazdi also criticized Rafsanjani saying that he should not have called for the release of those arrested during post-election unrest. The former judiciary chief said: "If you ask me what should be done for those arrested, I will tell you that they should be punished, because there are laws in the country."

"The cleric condemned Rafsanjani for sending a letter to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamene'i before the election. He said that Rafsanjani "has sown the seeds of doubts" in the society by sending that letter.

"He also questioned Rafsanjani's reasoning on people's role in the Islamic Republic system and said: "In an Islamic state, legitimacy is different from popularity and people's support does not bring legitimacy to the state." Ayatollah Yazdi added: "In Islam, the legitimacy of the state comes from God." "

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