In a series of statements in public and on his website, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani has attacked former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for ruining relations with Saudi Arabia in 2008 and wasting Iran’s natural resources the last eight years through poor policies. Continue reading
Tehran’s prosecutor confirmed that Mohammad Reza Rahimi, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s vice president, is currently out on bail in regard to involvement in a bribery and embezzlement case at the Iran Insurance Company, Iran’s largest insurance firm.
While the prosecutor, Abbas Jaffari Dowlatabadi, did not state when the former vice president posted bail or exactly what the charges were against him, this is the first official confirmation that Rahimi’s case has been pursued after years of accusations and rumors connecting him to the high profile insurance corruption case. Interestingly, the prosecutor appears to have confirmed Rahimi’s bail only after criticism by conservative MP Ali Motahhari that the judiciary had not pursued Rahimi in this particular case. Continue reading
Saeed Hajjarian, who is often referred to as the main theoretician of the Reformist movement in Iran, spoke to the Iranian Students’ News Agency about a variety of issues, including the economic problems facing the country, President Hassan Rouhani’s role in ending the house arrest of the late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri and the need for the administration to create opportunities for civil institutions to become active.
Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s media advisor, Mohammad Ali Ramin, has been credited with the idea of Ahmadinejad raising the issues of Holocaust denial and that Israel must vanish from the pages of history. In a recent interview he responded to rumors that the anti-American billboards in Tehran were his idea and his beliefs that opposing talks is the best strategy in negotiations and that the United States would soon break apart into several independent countries.
Iranian Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi said that many of the low-income housing units built in the last few years lacked basic utilities and that construction of the housing units needs to be suspended.
Akhoundi said of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s “Mehr housing scheme,” “The Mehr housing units that were constructed are in need of water, gas and sewage, and the administration is heavily involved with this issue.” He added, “Several thousand units of inappropriate housing were constructed, and while this type of home construction appears to be in the interest of the people, in reality, it is trap for the future government and the people.”
Prominent Reformist Saeed Hajjarian, who is often referred to as the main theoretician behind the Reform movement in Iran, has given a highly controversial and widely shared interview to hard-line Tasnim in which he claimed that the 2009 elections were not fraudulent but rather part of a “systematic deception.”
Some believe that Hajjarian, who is partially paralyzed after an assassination attempt reportedly by agents within the Islamic Republic, made these statements in response to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s recent request that those claiming fraud in the 2009 election should “apologize.” Hajjarian’s position in this Aug. 11 interview apparently drops the claim of fraud in the 2009 elections but expands the issue to the much more serious claim of election inequities within Iran.
An advisor to President-elect Hassan Rouhani in charge of the transition from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration to Rouhani’s said that “The economic situation of the country is worse than previously thought.” Akbar Torkan, who was minister of defense under Rafsanjani and deputy minister of oil under Ahmadinejad’s first term, said that one of the primary challenges of the incoming administration will be to “secure basic goods.”
One of Rouhani’s mandates as president will be to create stability in the Iranian economy, which has appeared unmanageable in the last few years to due economic sanctions from the West and government mismanagement. This is no small task, and other Rouhani advisors have begun to issue warnings against expecting a quick economic rebound.