Iran foils bid to kill former president Rafsanjani:
TEHRAN, May 6 (AFP) - Iranian authorities have foiled an attempt on
the life of influential former president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani by a
radical religious movement, a newspaper reported Thursday.
The assassination bid was "discovered and neutralised," the
English-language Iran News reported, without giving any date or other
details about the attack.
Quoting an "informed source," the newspaper said the attack
was prepared by a group linked to another fundamentalist movement implicated
in an assassination attempt on a top judicial official in January.
Ali Razini, head of Tehran's justice department, was paralysed in the
legs after a bomb attack in the capital that left one person dead and another
Tehran announced last month it had arrested Hassan Milani, the leader
of a shadowy fundamentalist religious network with about 30 members, for
the Razini bombing.
Rafsanjani, 65, one of the architects of the 1979 Islamic revolution
and a close confidant of the republic's late founder Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini, was head of state from 1989 to 1997.
He remains a powerful figure as head of the state Expediency Council,
which settles constitutional disputes, and he is the top advisor to Iran's
supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
While regarded as a guardian of the moderate wing, Rafsanjani has close
ties with all political factions and is a key figure in Iranian politics.
Iran has been rocked in recent months by a series of deadly attacks
against intellectuals as well as leading officials.
Top general Ali Sayad Shirazi, considered a national hero after commanding
many of the ground assaults in the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, was slain in
Tehran in early April in an attack claimed by the main armed opposition
group the People's Mujahedeen.