Iran General NewsIran TV denies Rafsanjani right of reply to Ahmadinejad

Iran TV denies Rafsanjani right of reply to Ahmadinejad

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ImageAFP: Iranian state television has denied ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani an immediate platform to respond to allegations made by incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a live debate, the ISNA news agency reported on Sunday.

ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — Iranian state television has denied ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani an immediate platform to respond to allegations made by incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a live debate, the ISNA news agency reported on Sunday.

According to Rafsanjani's office, the head of state television, Ezatollah Zarghami, "officially said that this request cannot be met before the (June 12 presidential) election."

During Wednesday's live debate with moderate challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi, Ahmadinejad charged that some of Mousavi's supporters, especially sons of Rafsanjani, had received financial privileges in the past.

The incumbent, who is seeking a second four-year term in Friday's election, also said he and his government had come under sustained attack from Mousavi and his supporters, who include reformist former president Mohammad Khatami as well as Rafsanjani.

There was a strong response to Ahmadinejad's remarks from the Expediency Council, Iran's highest legislative arbitration body which is headed by Rafsanjani.

The council wrote to the state television boss demanding air time for the former president to respond to the allegations.

"Given that the constitution has been violated and the president has breached his oath, the allegations will be pursued through legal channels," a statement from Rafsanjani's office said.

A legal complaint will be filed by the Rafsanjani family after the election, family member Mohammad Hashemi said on Friday.

Rafsanjani, who is also a former parliament speaker, was a close confidant of the Islamic republic's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

In the last presidential election in 2005, Rafsanjani lost to Ahmadinejad in a second round run-off.

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