There’s a new move afoot to get Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani back to the pulpit during Tehran’s Friday prayers.
According to a report Wednesday in the reformist daily newspaper Bahar (in Persian), the dean of Tehran’s elite Imam Sadegh University (where many of the leaders of Iran’s intelligence and security apparatus get trained) got the ball rolling in a speech last week.
“I still listen to Mr. Rafsanjani,” Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani, the dean, said along the sidelines of an Islamic unity conference. “Those who want to omit Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani are not important.”
Bahar reported Wednesday that sources close to the government have given word that Rafsanjani is set to return to the Friday prayers, where he has been absent since a momentous July 17 sermon sparked a massive anti-government protest. Since the revolt, Rafsanjani was cut from the Friday prayers roster, a move which signaled the refusal of the hard-line administration to tolerate the slightest hint of political dissent.
But that seems to be over.
“The absence of Hashemi Rafsanjani is over,” the article quoted a pro-government website as saying.
The article said “the suggestion to return Rafsanjani has been met with pro and counter-arguments” but that it is seriously being … >>>