As the pundits, including myself, made jokes and remarks and took jabs at Rafsanjani for his removal from the Council of Experts, a serious matter may have gone unnoticed. The matter of him becoming the next Vali-e-Faqih.
To illustrate my point, I invite you to consider the following:
- He and Mahdavi Kani are very close and have known each other for a long time. Mahdavi Kani is now the current head of the Council of Experts whose job is appointment of a Supreme Religious Leader.
- Experience wise and besides being perhaps the closest aide and adviser to Khomeini, the founder of IR when he was alive, Rafsanjani has served in almost every major leadership position in the Islamic Republic.
- Khamenei is hated, sick, and facing a serious turmoil. A turmoil which intensified and gave birth to his current nightmare - the Green Movement - with his endorsement of Ahmadinejad’s re-election. With Khamenei gone, if and when it happens, Mahdavi Kani will most probably nominate Rafsanjani for his replacement.
- Internationally, Rafsanjani is called a “pragmatic.” If he becomes the man, he can simply trump his nemesis, Ahmadinejad, and put Mousavi in his place. Then a “serious” dialogue with Obama and the west can begin.
Now that I look at it, his and Mousavi’s persistent support of the Islamic Republic's constitution and the concept of Velayat-e-Faqih makes a lot of sense!
The only major obstacle though, in his way to become the Supreme Religious Leader, could be the unwritten rule of VF being a Seyyed, Which he is not.
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