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Posts Tagged ‘ Hashemi Rafsanjani ’

Why Rafsanjani is so important for the Greens

Six months ago in Mashad, Iran, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani delivered a speech to a group of Iranian student activists saying: “If people want us, we will govern; and if they don’t, we will have to go.”

This might have seemed like nothing new, but it wasn’t coming from just anyone — it was said by Hashemi Rafsanjani,  Iranian cleric and a two-term Iranian president.  Still to this day known as one of the most powerful individuals in Iranian politics, Rafsanjani leads the body that has the power to unseat the Supreme Leader.

This one statement, coming from Rafsanjani, cracked the entire foundation of Velayat- e- Faghih — the rule of God’s representative over man and country.

Just a few days ago, Rafsanjani reiterated his statement when delivering a speech at the anniversary of a religious ceremony in Tehran. After welcoming his guests, Rafsanjani started speaking about the will of the people and how people are in charge of their own destiny. He said God will not take anyone to Heaven by force who doesn’t want to go himself; each person has the right to choose for him or herself the path he/she will take.

“We have to find the path of God ourselves with our own will. Our own will and that is what is important.”

These subtle political messages are common among Iranian clergies, and they regularly communicate with each other through speeches at different sermons, which can be extremely frustrating to an outsider. Rafsanjani later said:

“The path of good vs. evil has existed since the beginning of time and will continue to be around until the end of time. Humans have been and must continue to be responsible and free to choose their own path in this world.”

No wonder the hard-line conservatives have been severely attacking Rafsanjani lately. He has been around even before the Iranian revolution and has actively been one of the main pillars of the Islamic Republic establishment since its inception. At this point in time, though, he is coming to realize the incompatibility of the current establishment with the new Iranian generation and the democratic world.

He is aware that significant reforms will be needed in order for modern Iran to survive, which is exactly what the Green Movement has been saying for the past year. If the system does not bend with the demands of its people, then it will be just like what Rafsanjani said, but perhaps much harsher.

  • 22 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Keeping His Distance

Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani and Seyyed Hassan Khomeini (Imam Khomeini’s grandson) did not want to stand beside Ahmadinejad in the line for the Eid-Al Fitr prayer on Sunday:


(Source: Mowj Camp)

  • 16 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Rafsanjani out; Khatami, Mousavi, Karroubi in on Quds Day

According to BBC Persian, while Hashemi Rafsanjani has traditionally led the Friday prayer in the Quds Days for last years, Iranian authorities have announced Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami will lead Tehran’s Friday prayer and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will also speak before the sermons.

The capital’s Friday prayers headquarters announced in a Wednesday statement that Secretary-General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement Ramadan Abdullah is also expected to address the crowds before the sermons. The statement came a day after Rafsanjani urged an epic turnout on Friday.

Meanwhile, mowjcamp reported on Wednesday that the Iranian government issued a statement asking companies to be flexible to the request of their employees to take the day off on the day before and after the Quds Day. Therefore, the four-day holidays (including Eid Fitr on Sunday) is expected as a way to empty Tehran from the people who have been planning to attend the Quds ceremony led by the reformist leaders (Khatami, Mousavi, and Karroubi).

Emruz also reported that Khatami has officially confirmed his attendance in the Quds Day’s rally which will be held before the Friday sermon and Prayer. Karroubi and Mousavi have previously announced their intention to participate as well.

  • 15 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

State-run propaganda surrounds Quds Day prayer

Three days before the important Quds Day’s ceremony in Iran, Iran’s state-run are organizing a concerted propaganda effort to mislead the public about who will lead the Friday Prayer in Tehran.

According to mowjcamp, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani has been expected to lead the Friday Prayer in Tehran on Quds day for nearly a week.  Opposition leaders Karroubi, Khatami, and Mousavi have all confirmed their participation in the rally and Friday Prayer, which will mark the last Friday of Ramadan.  However, IRNA and Fars (both pro-government news agancies) reported on Tuesday that the schedule has changed, and that  hardline cleric Ahmad Khatami will deliver the important sermon.  Additionally, President Ahmadinejad is planning to deliver a speech prior to the Friday sermon, though it was originally reported that he would do so at an alternative location, given that Rafsanjani would be in Tehran.

The rumors appear to be intended to spread confusion about the events surrounding the Quds Day prayer ceremonies, possibly contributing to the opposition’s lack of organization in planning demonstrations.  Rafsanjani has yet to officially deny the claims that he will not in fact be delivering the prayer in Tehran.

  • 10 September 2009
  • Posted By Matthew Negreanu
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Police warns against ‘green protest’ on Quds Day

The 30th anniversary of the International Day of Quds will be Green this year, according to reformist websites in Iran.

Opposition leaders Karroubi, Khatami, and Mousavi have all confirmed their participation in this important ceremony, which is traditionally held in every city of Iran. Hashemi Rafsanjani will also deliver a sermon and lead the Friday Prayer in the day which marks the last Friday of Ramadan.

According to media reports from Iran, supporters of reformist candidates known as the “greens” are planning to pour into Tehran and other cities’ streets for the Quds Day rally. Meanwhile, Iran’s police Chief Esmail Ahmadi Moghadam on Tuesday warned the opposition against using an upcoming annual pro-Palestinian nationwide rally as an occasion to hold anti-government protests.

The Quds Day, referring to the Arabic word for Jerusalem — takes place on Sept 18 this year. It is usually an occasion for government supporters to denounce Israel and show support for the Palestinians. “The main objective of the Quds Day should not be deviated from,” Moghadam said, according to the state news agency IRNA.

  • 26 August 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • Events in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Rafsanjani’s Son Accuses Ahmadinejad of Embezzling 340 Million Tomans

Mehdi Hashemi Rafsanjani, Ayatollah Rafsanjani’s son, has denied vociferously the claims of engineering “velvet revolution” raised  against him in confessions from yesterday’s trial. He sent an open letter to the President of IRIB for broadcasting the confessions.

He was also accused of embezzling 2 million Iranian tomans. In refuting these charges, Rafsanjani publicly raised the issue of Ahmadinejad allegedly embezzling 340 million tomans while he was governor of Tehran.

From Javan-e Farda (h/t New York Times):

“I, Mr. Mehdi Hashemi, never believed I took even a bit of money from the budget for the costs of electoral advertisements, and the [charges raised in court yesterday] are pure lies.

All of the costs of advertisement in the budget of the Energy Optimization Agency [which Rafsanjani managed] in 2005 are completely clear. […]

And now that the issue of the election of 2005 is open, for the good of public awareness, I am calling for the final review, in one place, of the 340 million tomans that went missing from the Tehran governor’s office in 2005, which people had asked many times of the governor [Ahmadinejad], the Tehran governing council, and the national council of reviewing. (We should keep investigating until the person responsible collapses)

The point worth noting here is that these “admissions” have occurred directly after the Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s family sent a letter bringing complains against Mr. Ahmadinejad to the Judiciary.”

  • 22 August 2009
  • Posted By Artin
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran, Iran Election 2009

Rafsanjani did not back down – His party supports Karroubi

Initial reports claiming Rafsanjani has fallen in line with Khamenei today have been taken out of context. Javan-e Farda reports that Rafsanjani’s party (Executives of Construction) has declared its full support for Mehdi Karroubi. By throwing his party’s support behind Karroubi, Rafsanjani shows indirectly that he will not back down from supporting the opposition.

Javan-e Farda:

The Executives of Construction has released a statement announcing full support of Mehdi Karroubi’s position on the harassment issue. “Karroubi’s bravery, courage, and his compassionate approach in rooting out the current corruption in the country’s security and judicial apparatuses, is not only worthy of attention and congratulations, but has brought about an invasion of repeated attacks by various people and groups in the name of ‘defending the system.’ These behaviors serve as evidence of the ridiculousness of trying to combat reality.”

Rafsanjani’s speech emphasizes unity with the Supreme Leader generally. This may have been a move by Rafsanjani to appear loyal to the system while he draws up contingency plans for continuing his protest.

Rafsanjani ordered the founding of the Executives of Construction during his Presidency (1989-1997).

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Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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