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Iran: Rafsanjani to Lead Protests After Friday Prayers | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of the Iranian Expediency Discernment Council, will lead reformist demonstrations on Friday in what will mark the breaking of his 33-day silence since the crisis of the Iranian presidential elections that were held on June 12. Rafsanjani will lead these demonstrations after delivering his first Friday sermon at Tehran University since the elections.

An Iranian source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Rafsanjani will lead protests after delivering a Friday sermon equally expected by the reformists and conservatives. The source said that head of the ‘Green Word’ party Mir Hossein Mousavi, the former reformist president Mohamed Khatami and other leaders of the reformist movement will also take part in the demonstrations.

Mohamed Hashemi Rafsanjani, the younger brother of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and his son, supported the founding of an umbrella group by Mousavi for all reform-minded political parties. On Wednesday Mohamed Hashemi Rafsanjani said, “It seems that the social and political conditions to form such a front do exist because the masses who voted for Mousavi are a great force and most of them are from the university and student elite.”

However, Hamid Reza Taraqi, a conservative official stipulated that Mousavi must acknowledge “the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad’s government” in order to be allowed to form such a “political front”.

“I will join the lines (of worshippers) on Friday as I feel obliged to respond to the call of companions on the path to protecting rights to a noble and free life,” a statement on

Mousavi’s website said.

This will be the first public appearance by Rafsanjani since the June 12 elections.