Reuters: A purge of former Iranian government officials is damaging unity in the country and could exacerbate foreign pressure on the Islamic state, former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Wednesday. TEHRAN (Reuters) – A purge of former Iranian government officials is damaging unity in the country and could exacerbate foreign pressure on the Islamic state, former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Wednesday.
His comments, reported by several local news agencies, follow a massive shake-up of government personnel since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office in August.
“A current in Iran is trying to banish competent officials and it is harming the country like a plague,” Rafsanjani told a gathering of Friday Prayer leaders.
Rafsanjani, defeated by Ahmadinejad in June’s presidential elections, complained that many former officials were being accused of corruption without proof being provided.
“In my opinion, our national unity and solidarity are undermined,” he said. “We must be careful.”
“The problem of foreign pressure has always existed, however the circumstances inside our country today have made such a threat more serious,” he added.
Ahmadinejad and his close aides have accused the previous governments under Rafsanjani and former President Mohammad Khatami of neglecting Islamic values and doing too little to stop corruption.
His Foreign Ministry has already announced the recall of around 40 ambassadors and senior diplomats and other ministries have witnessed similar purges of officials.
On Tuesday Culture Minister Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi criticised the former government for allowing un-Islamic works to be published and performed and said he was replacing most key officials in the ministry.