Iranians fed up with conservative attitudes: Rafsanjani
TEHRAN, June 7 (AFP) - Faezeh Hashemi, a prominent moderate Iranian
MP and the daughter of former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, has lashed
out at the Islamic regime's conservative-dominated leadership.
Hashemi, in remarks published on Monday by the English-language Iran
Daily, said that Iranians are "fed up with hardline attitudes."
Reformist president Mohammad Khatami "holds only a small portion
of the power, (while) the remaining part of the ruling establishment confronts
him in every way it can," she said.
"A review of their performance in recent months reveals that they
have started a series of moves to weaken their rivals," the moderate
MP said, referring to the parliamentary elections next year.
"They have resorted to spreading baseless accusations and abusing
the means available to them," Hashemi said, adding that "they
will even play with people's religious and ideological beliefs."
Referring to increasing pressure by conservatives against Iran's reformist
media, Hashemi, managing director of the banned Zan (Woman) paper, said
the interference of revolutionary courts into press issues was "illegal."
"I have to say that we (the moderate press) have been truly mistreated,"
Zan was suspended in early April for publishing a new year's message
from ex-empress Farah Diba to the Iranian people.
"Since they (the conservatives) have a major section of the rulership
in their hands, they do everything they can to ensure their own brand of
interests ... (but) when they cannot pursue their monopolistic policies
through manipulation, they resort to illegal methods," Hashemi said.
Iran's moderate press has enjoyed considerable freedom since the election
of Khatami as president two years ago.
But attacks against pro-Khatami media and ministries have increased
in recent months while hardliners prepare the grounds to ensure as many
seats as possible in next year's parliamentary elections.
"Meanwhile, I have to admit that unfortunately the government has
acted poorly in terms of economic considerations," Hashemi added.
Despite Khatami's widespread popularity, notably among the young for
his efforts in establishing greater freedom and rule of law, Iran's 60
million population is still suffering from high unemployment and inflation
On Friday, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, urged Khatami's
government to "pay greater attention to the economic problems of the
country and the well-being of the population."