NewsSpecial WireIran’s Rafsanjani “one of us”: ultra-conservative figure

Iran’s Rafsanjani “one of us”: ultra-conservative figure

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jun. 22 – The leader of the main ultra-conservative political grouping in Iran’s clergy-dominated regime described former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as an “Islamic Fundamentalist” and said whichever candidate would win in Friday’s presidential elections, the result “will be a victory for us”. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jun. 22 – The leader of the main ultra-conservative political grouping in Iran’s clergy-dominated regime described former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani as an “Islamic Fundamentalist” and said whichever candidate would win in Friday’s presidential elections, the result “will be a victory for us”.

Habibollah Asgar-Owladi, general secretary of the Front of Followers of the Line of the Imam and the Supreme Leader, which groups several ultra-conservative factions, said it was “a positive development that even some political parties and groups whose positions we don’t like have declared their support for one of the two Islamic fundamentalist candidates”.

Asgar-Owladi was referring to some political groups close to outgoing President Mohammad Khatami who have said they would vote for Hashemi Rafsanjani despite objections over his political record.

“The important thing is that these groups did not back the boycott of the elections, which is being pushed by the Americans”, Asgar-Owladi said. “It is also a positive step because all of them will be voting for an Islamic fundamentalist candidate”.

The ultra-conservative leader dismissed suggestions by some that the choice facing the Iranian electorate in Friday between the conservative strongman Rafsanjani and ultra-conservative Ahmadinejad as being similar to the choice facing the French electorate in 2002 between Jacque Chirac and Jean-Marie Le Pen.

“Mr. Hashemi is no Jacque Chirac and Mr. Ahmadinejad is no Jean-Marie Le Pen. Thank god our Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei”> and other senior officials of the Islamic Republic have such a stratagem that can foil all the conspiracies and nip them in the butt. We will be able to overcome any emerging crisis”.

Asgar-Owladi refused to say which of the two candidates he favours and said they would both work “for the advancement of the goals of the founder of the Islamic Republic [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini”>”.

“They are both pure Islamic fundamentalists”, he said.

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