DPA: Former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani accused the head of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's office of conspiring against Iran's leadership, the labour news agency ILNA reported Thursday.
Tehran – Former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani accused the head of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's office of conspiring against Iran's leadership, the labour news agency ILNA reported Thursday.
'It seems that there is a very complicated conspiracy going on to expose non-existing disagreements within the country's leadership,' Rafsanjani said in a statement carried by ILNA.
Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaie, head of the presidential office, said in a meeting Wednesday that Rafsanjani planned to use popular support to put pressure on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Khamenei is the country's undisputed head of state with final say on all state affairs. Putting pressure on him would de facto mean efforts to topple the ruling Islamic system in Iran.
'Such remarks just lead to irritation and frustration among the people, and those making such remarks should justify their charges before a fair court,' Rafsanjani said, rejecting Rahim-Mashaie's claims.
'These lies come from someone who was supposed to become acting president and is today head of the presidential office,' Rafsanjani said in the harshest reaction he has so far shown against Ahmadinejad and his team.
Rahim-Mashaie, father-in-law of Ahmadinejad's son and said to be the president's closest aide, was initially appointed as acting president but had to be sacked by Ahmadinejad after widespread criticism of earlier remarks by Rahim-Mashaie that Iran's political differences with Israel had nothing to do with Israelis and Jews and that Iran was a friend of the Israeli people.
'The record of Mr Rahim-Mashaie regarding wrong and illogical remarks is well-known,' said Rafsanjani, who was described by Khamenei as one of the pillars of the Islamic establishment and a personal friend but who is disliked by Ahmadinejad and his supporters.
During the campaign for the June 12 presidential election, Ahmadinejad accused the cleric of corruption and vowed to disclose alleged embezzlement cases against the former president's family members.
After Ahmadinejad was declared the election winner and protests erupted over alleged election fraud, Rafsanjani was pushed into the opposition corner with defeated presidential candidates Mir-Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi and former reformist president Mohammad Khatami.
Rafsanjani heads the Experts Assembly, an influential clerical body, and is, therefore, constitutionally allowed to remove the supreme leader. There had been speculation that Rafsanjani would use his position to put pressure on Khamenei to allow changes to Iran's Islamic system.
Rafsanjani rejected such speculations last week, saying that all Iranians, including himself, should obey the leadership.
Khamenei on Wednesday distanced himself from the attacks against Rafsanjani and the opposition, especially from charges by Ahmadinejad's supporters that they were agents of foreign countries trying to overthrow the Iranian regime.
The supreme leader said there was no proof yet for him that opposition leaders were agents of foreign states.