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Rafsanjani Withdraws from Tehran Friday Prayers - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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TEHRAN (AFP) – Powerful Iranian cleric and opposition supporter Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has decided not to lead Friday prayers this week to avoid “political abuse” of the event, an official said on Monday.

“This week’s Friday prayers were to be held by Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani,” said Reza Taghavi, the head of the coordinating body for Friday prayers, the Fars news agency reported.

“(But) we have been informed that he has decided to leave it to another prayer leader in order to prevent any political, unconventional and unacceptable abuse of the occasion.”

In his previous sermon in Tehran last month, Rafsanjani called for the release of detained election protesters and said the Islamic republic had been plunged into “crisis” since the June vote that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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