In apparent defiance of Iran’s supreme leader, the former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has declared the Islamic Republic to be in crisis following last months disputed poll. In his first sermon since the election, Rafsanjani admitted disquiet continued to persist over the result.
“Doubt has been created in people’s minds. We consider it to be the worst calamity. This has attacked our nation like leprosy. If there are those who don’t have any doubt and are moving forward, there are a large portion of wise people who say they have doubts,” the former president said. Rafsanjani’s remarks are being seen by many observers as a direct challenge to Iran’s current order. Gala Riani, from IHS Global Insight, said: “In the past we have seen protests in Iran, but we’ve never seen them with a political backing, like we do today. And I think that Rafsanjani’s coming out – even if he’s relatively moderate and he doesn’t echo some of the things that have been said on the streets — he’s nevertheless giving them a form of moral backing.”