Baztab has posted a video of former President Hashemi Rafsanjani biding goodbye to his son, Mehdi Hashemi, before he is taken to Evin prison. The controversial ex-President’s son returned after a three year absence, after being accused of playing an important role in stoking the protests and unrest, commonly referred to as “the sedition” in official literature, which followed Iran’s 2009 presidential election, as well as numerous charges of corruption.
For the last three years Hashemi has been living in between London and Dubai, and various rumours had been circulating of when he might decide to return to Iran. The Iranian authorities on numerous occasions had also expressed their intent to pursue the case against Hashemi in the event of his return.
The release of this video of Rafsanjani embracing his son before he leaves for Evin prison is an attempt to humanise this “aqazadeh” (noble born, the term used for the sons of powerful clerics in the political establishment) and most likely arouse sympathy for Mehdi Hashemi, after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his administration has long sought to tap into populist resentment at what many Iranians have come to see as an entitled class of elite children, who have aggrandized themselves politically and above all economically from their fathers’ power and patronage.
Aftab News, close to former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, has posted a letter from the latter’s 1986 memoir in which he refers to his son Mehdi, who was arrested yesterday on a whole raft of charges, contending “more than my child, you are a child of the revolution”.
Similarly, Rafsanjani’s reaction to his son’s arrest has been posted on numerous outlets stating, “my children are like other people’s children and there is no difference between my children and the people’s children”.
Rafsanjani has been widely accused of nepotism by the Iranian and foreign-based Persian media for decades. Such statements are likely attempts to distance himself from such accusations and dispel this deep-seated image of the former President and incumbent head of the Expediency Discernment Council.
For obvious reasons the Iranian media is widely reporting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s final visit to New York as president to attend the UN General Assembly. A number of his comments in a meet with American journalists have been highlighted, especially those pertaining to Iran’s relations with the United States.
The “ present condition in the relations between Iran and America are to the detriment of both countries and perhaps to the detriment of the entire world, but for their improvement we must look at the path and changes which brought relations to their present state, and pay attention to the point that the United States from the outset always stood opposed to the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran”.
He added, “the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to reflect on its own negative view of America and help until the time when the American government takes steps for the creation of mutual agreement between the two countries, so that an improvement of relations between them can be obtained more quickly”.
Regarding the prospect of an American attack the President stated, “really where does the Zionist regime want to attack Iran, and take aim at which point of Iran? Iran is a very big country and it must be kept in mind that if it wants to react to threats and belligerent actions, at that time what events will occur? But excluding all these issues it was very good that the American government and political and social groups of this country condemned these threats, so that the Zionists don’t think they have permission to do whatever they want against others”.
Moreover, “why Iranian’s don’t officially recognize Israel is an important question. What does the official non-recognition of the Zionist regime by Iran have to do with Iran’s relations with America? Iran officially recognizes America and believes we can have relations with one another, but the issue of the official recognition or non-recognition of the Zionist regime has no relevance to the relations of Iran and America”.
On the nuclear programme Ahmadinejad told the journalists, “the Iran nuclear issue has become completely politicized. This issue is between Iran and America and if today America withdraws, then no one in the world has a claim against Iran and therefore I believe it will be settled in the domain separate from the nuclear negotiations ”.
On sanctions he said, “the thought of someone who imagines that Iran will be defeated because of the effect of sanctions is mistaken. These sanctions only exacerbate people’s negative view of the Iranian people with respect to America.”
Regarding the controversial film, “The Innocence of Muslims”, Ahmadinejad noted, “all the protests which took place in Islamic countries against the insulting film made about the Prophet are focused on the American government. The question is this, did the American government make this film or did the American government order the making of it?”
In Other News
Commander Mehdi Rabbani, Deputy Chief of Operations in the IRGC, at a gathering of the Devotees of Mohammad, has stated that “good conditions have been created in the IRGC and army and we have created the power to confront our enemies external to the borders”.
A member of the judicial committee for Iran’s biggest ever insurance corruption scandal has told Fars News that the details of the judgement will be announced tomorrow.
Majles Speaker, Ali Larijani, as reported by Khabar Online, has said that “for domestic economic prosperity, the creation of mechanisms for linking the university and industry are a necessity”.
He added, “the rate of unemployment in the country according to official statistics is 14 percent and the rate of inflation is 22 percent; the rate of unemployment and inflation is high…All developed countries had small government and the economic sphere was in the hands of the people, but our condition is the reverse and the government is overweight. The economy and industry are in the hands of the government”.