Rafsanjani re-“elected”

Chairman of the Expediency Council Hashemi Rafsanjani was elected as Chairman of the Assembly of Experts for the second successive year today in Iran. This is not a surprise, and if the Experts Assembly actually matters, someone let me know why.

One may say that constitutionally the Assembly has the power to dismiss the Supreme Leader. But really it’s only another government body setup to perpetuate the status quo. While the populace directly elects the Assembly of Experts, the Guardian Council gets to veto those candidates. And of course the Guardian Council is… selected by the Supreme Leader himself (clapping in my head).

Rafsanjani is interesting though. Besides being made politically impotent, he talks out of both sides of his mouth. Two Fridays ago, as the provisional Friday prayer leader in Tehran, he demanded to negotiate with the US in order to prove the IRI is not producing nuclear weapon’s grade uranium. Why can he do this? Why does the Leader leave him free to subvert the hard-line stance? I’ve got my suspicions…

Particularly, he’s always pushed the softer line that Iran does not, and never will be armed with nuclear weapons. I think Khamenei puts Rafsanjani on the stage to say such things so that hard-liners like Ahmadinejad, or others like Jannati or himself, don’t have to sound so conciliatory to US interests. Rafsanjani can do this without displaying a shift in his rhetoric. While the regime as a whole does always repeats the same mantra that they are not producing nuclear weapons, Rafsanjani can say it in a more ‘international’ way. If the Leader said it like Rafsanjani it would signify an absolute clarification of policy direction. When Rafsanjani says these things, in this tone, it just seems to be calculated misinformation.

Anyone want to provide their rationale for Rafsanjani?


~ by The Common Man on March 10, 2009.

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