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Author Topic:   Guardian council member says Rafsanjani is a "troublemaker"
posted August 03, 2001 09:52     Click Here to See the Profile for Vatandoost   Click Here to Email Vatandoost     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
MASH HAD 31 July (IPS) A senior official with the top constitutional watchdog Guardian Council on Tuesday took a sharp snipe at the former president Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, calling him a "troublemaker", the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported Tuesday.

Ayatollah Hashemi-Rafsanjani is currently the Chairman of the influential state Expediency Council, which, among other duties, also arbitrates between the reformist-dominated Majles (parliament) and the conservative-led Guardian Council in cases of discrepancy.

This is the first time that Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani is denounced publicly by an official from the 12 members, leader-controlled Guardians, in charge of vetting candidates and make sure that laws passed by the Majles are in accordance with Islamic laws.

The former president is routinely reported in the reformist press for high corruption, jailing and assassinating hundreds of prominent dissident Iranian politicians and intellectuals and abuse of power for personal benefit.

"The problems with the Expediency Council arose as the supreme leader appointed Rafsanjani to head the Council after his presidential tenure came to an end (in 1997)", Gholam-Hossein Elham, Head of the Research Centre at the Guardian Council, told a group of students in this holy city.

"Some people thought that they have gotten rid of Rafsanjani after eight years, but, their dreams proved to be wrong and his appointment as the Council Head raised the sensitivities", IRNA quoted him as having said.

"Nothing is wrong with the council, Rafsanjani is the troublemaker", he added, noting that a "neutral" person should run the Expediency Council.

Elham, also an academic, said that the Council is responsible or "arbitrating between the parliament and the Guardian Council in discrepancies."

"The Council is not entitled to pass legislation," he said, adding, "once it wanted to pass a legislation but the late imam (Khomeini) blocked the Council".

He was referring to one of Mr. Rafsanjani's last move aimed at opposing Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'is decision to allow the Majles to investigate the State-run Radio and Television that is under his own control.

Mr. Rafsanjani had opposed the decision on grounds that all institutions and organisations under the control of the leader are immune from investigation.

But Mr. Khameneh'i over-ruled him and confirmed his decision.

The row between the two leaders led to a split within the conservative camp, with extremist and hard line members of the faction moving to Mr. Hashemi-Rafsanjani's side.

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