Tehran, AP, 2 February 2016 - Iran’s former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has sharply criticized the country’s constitutional watchdog for barring candidates from his faction running in elections for a top clerical body - including Hassan Khomeini, a grandson of the Islamic Republic’s founder.
The Guardian Council which vets the candidate on the basis of their devotion to Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, barred Hassan Khomeini from running in the Feb. 26 election for the Assembly of Experts. The council screens candidates before allowing them to run. It has disqualified thousands of candidates from standing in both the Assembly elections and parliamentary elections scheduled for the same day.
Many candidates have been disqualified because they were not seen to be sufficiently loyal to the ruling system in the eyes of the Guardian Council members.
Rafsanjani spoke out against the council’s decisions in comments posted on his website Monday. In a unprecedently strong words that actually targeted Khamenei, Rafsanjani said: "the qualification of a personality that is related to the Late Khomeini is rejected, where did you get the capacity to act as such? Who did give you the right to judge? Who did put you behind the podium? Where did you get the right to own the national television system? If it wasn’t for the Imam [Khomeini] none of you would have been here now."
Rafasanjani then threatened the rival faction of another uprising similar to the 2009 popular revolt, while he himself knows that if such an uprising would to happen, the hurricane of the popular dissent would sweep everyone and every faction on its path and will leave no one from either side of the current dictatorship in Iran.