News Special Wire Attack on Rafsanjani signals rising strife in Iran theocracy

Attack on Rafsanjani signals rising strife in Iran theocracy

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Jul. 10 – The son of Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was heard as saying back in April that “we are going to be using the funds of Fuel Efficiency Organization and money obtained by the lease of 400 gas stations to finance my father’s election campaign”, a parliamentary deputy closely allied with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the state-run news agency Fars. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Jul. 10 – The son of Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was heard as saying back in April that “we are going to be using the funds of Fuel Efficiency Organization and money obtained by the lease of 400 gas stations to finance my father’s election campaign”, a parliamentary deputy closely allied with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the state-run news agency Fars.

The deputy, Elias Naderan, said he had obtained the agreement of the parliament’s leadership committee to have the Minister of Intelligence and Security investigate corruption, bribery and embezzlement by the Rafsanjani family, including accusations that Rafsanjani’s son had accepted bribes from Norway’s state-owned oil company, Statoil.

Naderan had said earlier that Rafsanjani’s campaign had handed out bribes worth five million dollars to most local newspapers for favourable coverage of their candidate, while the money came from state oil funds.

Naderan complained that despite repeated requests, the Minister of Intelligence and Security, Ali Younessi, had refused to show up to answer his questions either in a parliamentary committee or in the full session of the Majlis.

In a separate development, hours after an open letter from Mehdi Karroubi, one of the defeated candidates in the recent presidential elections, complaining of serious vote fraud in favour of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad surfaced in Tehran, a top Majlis deputy lashed out at Karroubi and outgoing President Mohammad Khatami.

“It’ll be very good if Mr. Khatami could respond to Mr. Karroubi’s request and issue a report on how 50,000-toman travellers’ cheques were dished out to buy votes by a certain candidate”, Moussa Ghorbani told the state-run Fars news agency, alluding to Karroubi’s method of getting more votes.

“Mr. Khatami himself said in his statement before the second round of the elections that one of the two candidates was incompetent. This was an affront to the Iranian people and Mr. Khatami must explain whether or not he was himself involved in the defamation campaign against Mr. Ahmadinejad”, Ghorbani said.

Analysts see the rising venom in the tone of attacks in the factional bickering in Iran as a sign of growing internal strife at the top of the Iranian theocracy, as the Supreme Leader and his ultra-conservative allies have effectively shut the other factions out of power.

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