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Iran on a tortuous path to reconciliation
Asia Times ^ | July 15, 2009 | Kaveh L Afrasiabi

Posted on 07/14/2009 5:44:46 PM PDT by don-o

Former president Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who is also head of the powerful Expediency Council, has met with the families of some of the political prisoners and promised to pursue their cases.

Rafsanjani's much-anticipated Friday prayer sermon this week will likely generate another boost for the reformists and their call for the release of all prisoners. The test for Rafsanjani, who has yet to congratulate Ahmadinejad for his electoral victory, is how to press the demands of the reformists while at the same time playing an effective mediating role and a vital bridge over the great chasm that has opened since the presidential elections on June 12.

If Rafsanjani does not acknowledge Ahmadinejad's victory, as is expected of him by the regime's hardliners (ie, the so-called Principalists), then it is hard to see how he can wield much influence on the government in terms of compromise and reconciliation.

On the other hand, with passions still running high, as reflected in the latest letter of reformist candidate, Mehdi Karrubi, to the judicial authorities bemoaning an "undeclared coup d'etat" in Iran, Rafsanjani's Friday prayer has the potential to become a spectacle of political division in the Islamic Republic. This is at a time when Iran's foreign priorities demand a strong "show of unity", to paraphrase another defeated candidate, Mohsen Rezaii.

(Excerpt) Read more at atimes.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: iran; rafsanjani
Snipped down into the article...Friday may be interesting in Iran.
1 posted on 07/14/2009 5:44:46 PM PDT by don-o
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