Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president and an elder statesman of Iranian politics, today called on country’s politicians to approach the difficulties facing the country through prudence, wisdom and use of expertise and avoiding self-centered promotion. Rafsanjani, making the comments to Shia seminaries in the holy city of Qum, added that the leaders should not let their internal divisions and their mismanagement of the issues facing the country strengthen the enemies’ hands. (Aftab News, 24 October)
Rafsanjani was referring to the growing and bitter infighting between President Ahmadinejad and Judiciary Chief Sadegh Larijani over the president’s request to visit the notorious Evin prison in Tehran and Larijani’s refusal to issue permit to a sitting president to visit the country’s main prison.
In an unusually sarcastic and harsh criticism of the president, Larijani wrote in an open letter, widely published in all major media today, that Ahmadinejad was acting “like a king who has confiscated people’s properties only to accuse the people of not respecting his property rights.” He also accused the president of putting himself above the country’s constitution and the separation of powers and again denied him permission to visit Evin.
Ahmadinejad had earlier called the refusal by the judiciary to let him visit the prison an “unconstitutional” act and denial of fundamental rights of any citizens, including those of the country’s sitting president.