Rafsanjani was president between 1989 and 1997, but failed to win a third term when in 2005, losing to Ahmadinejad in a runoff. He was a close follower of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, father of Iran’s Islamic Revolution. He now heads the Expediency Council, a body that arbitrates disputes between parliament and the unelected Guardian Council, which can block legislation. He also is the head of the powerful Assembly of Experts, which comprises senior clerics who can elect and dismiss the country’s supreme leader. Friday’s comments showed the country’s ultimate authority is firmly behind Ahmadinejad, who has publicly accused Rafsanjani and members of his family of corruption. Experts said that could mean Rafsanjani’s power is waning.