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Rafsanjani: Islam is Deteriorating in Iran and Society is on the Brink of Collapse - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a Ministry of Interior building submitting his candidacy for the elections in December of last year (AP)

The chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a Ministry of Interior building submitting his candidacy for the elections in December of last year (AP)

The campaign for the Assembly of Experts election scheduled to take place on the 26th of February began yesterday with state television broadcasting footage of former president Rafsanjani’s campaign trail. The former president is standing as a candidate in the upcoming elections.

While state television broadcasted Rafsanjani’s remarks related to the election yesterday, the security forces confiscated posters and banners for his electoral campaign in the streets and arrested several members of the campaign which prompted the former president’s office to submit a memorandum of protest to the Ministry of Interior.

Rafsanjani believes that the decline of the Islamic dimension over the past few years in Iran is represented by the spread of corruption and the increase in immoral acts amongst the men who rule the country. He added that this is driving the Iranian family and society to the brink of collapse and has contributed to high divorce rates and a decline in the popularity of marriage.

After reviewing the most important political and social crises in the country, Rafsanjani said that “We now have problems on an Islamic and grassroots level”. He added that “points of weakness will become evident in the elections and we must set them right”. Rafsanjani called for Iranians to go to the polls and said that the upcoming elections “are crucial to the system and the country” because of “the sensitive situations that the region is experiencing”. He continued by saying that the conditions of the region are at their worst and Iran’s neighboring countries are experiencing wars and instability. Rafsanjani also warned of the risk of a major war breaking out in the region and emphasised the need to hold elections “to elevate the international status of Iran”.

In a related development, Iranian media said yesterday that the head of the judiciary Sadeq Larijani Amoli has plunged himself into the Assembly of Experts elections after the announcement of one of the eight candidates from the governorate of Mazandaran Wardi Maqdasi that he is withdrawing from the elections in favour of Larijani. Maqdasi called for people to vote for Sadeq Larijani in the election. Sadeq Larijani is considered to be one of the most prominent contenders to succeed Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, along with former judiciary chief Hashemi Shahroudi.