Sunday, November 23, 2008

Where we Disagree, I “Obey”‎

Hashemi: My Love is Khamenei!‎


Speaking to a group of Sharif University students, Akbar Hashemi, while criticizing the ‎ninth administration’s performance, criticized taking over the American embassy in 1980 ‎and referred to ayatollah Khamenei as his “love.”‎

After delivering a speech on Saturday evening at the Sharif University Akbar Hashemi ‎Rafsanjani responded to written questions from students. During the question and ‎response session, Hashemi was asked, “Are you in constant contact with the supreme ‎leader and what is the level and nature of such contact?” Hashemi, the head of the ‎powerful Assembly of Experts, which supervises the supreme leader’s performance, ‎responded, “You won’ find two people in this country who are closer to one another than ‎myself and the supreme leader.” When asked, “Do you still like him?” Hashemi ‎responded, “Very much! My love is Mr. Khamenei. I and Mr. Khamenei have been ‎close friends and confidants for over 50 years and we consult with one another about ‎everything.” ‎

The head of the Assembly of Experts also claimed to be the Islamic Republic supreme ‎leader’s dinner biweekly dinner guest on a regular bases, during which they “discuss ‎current issues for one or two hours,” adding, “Before he became the supreme leader once ‎I would go to his house and once he would come to mine, but after Mr. Khamenei’s ‎promotion I always go to him.” ‎

Nevertheless, yesterday the head of the Assembly of Experts uttered a sentence that ‎implicitly acknowledged differences between him and ayatollah Khamenei on certain ‎issues. Commenting on their differences, Hashemi said, “We solved this issue by ‎agreeing that if in some case I have to forgo my opinion in an issue where I disagree with ‎him I am justified, because I can say my leader has decided so and I must obey my leader ‎legally and religiously and this is our arrangement. Indeed, he is the leader and we are ‎the followers.” ‎

Noting in yesterdays speech that “If factories, refineries and industries are not native ‎independence has no meaning,” Hashemi again criticized the ninth administration’s ‎performance, adding, “Unfortunately, today we are in the danger of dependence due to ‎heavy importing and this is not good for our native industries.” ‎

Hashemi explained his definition of independence by criticizing the North Korean model, ‎warning, “Independence is not enough because there are countries such as North Korea ‎which have closed their borders so that no one enters or exits. They have political ‎independence but Iran does not want to be like them because we can tackle the biggest ‎superpowers.” ‎

In an indirect attack on Ahmadinejad’s economic policies, the head of the Assembly of ‎Experts noted, “Some think helping the poor means handing them something to eat,” ‎adding, “But I rely on an Islamic and political and management-oriented outlook and ‎believe we must act in a way to enable the poor to stand on their feet and live with ‎dignity.” ‎

This section of Hashemi’s speech was a direct response to remarks by Ahmadinejad three ‎days ago. One week ago Hashemi Rafranjani criticized the administration’s economic ‎policies to which Ahmadinejad responded on Thursday, “You have abandoned the ‎people. You must know that the people aren’t your family and party friends. People are ‎those who are willing to sacrifice their lives for their country and revolution on the streets ‎of Zanjan and other parts of the country. We are prepared to solve the roots of people’s ‎economic problems, despite the wishes of a selfish bunch who do not want economic ‎reforms to take place.” ‎

In another part of his speech, the head of the Assembly of Experts criticized some actions ‎performed in the past during the cultural revolution and the hostage crisis of 1980. ‎

Noting that “Not all revolutionary measures were in our hands,” Hashemi claimed, “Even ‎in the case of the hostage crisis Mr. Khamenei and I were not aware. At that time we ‎were in Mecca and heard at midnight on the radio that the nest of spies has been ‎overtaken and that Bazargan has resigned. Certain things took place that now can be ‎criticized and wished that they hadn’t happened.” ‎

Hashemi also criticized the “extremism” of “angry student” during the cultural revolution ‎which led to a two-year closure of universities in years immediately after the revolution: ‎‎“We didn’t really make that decision at the cultural council, but a number of students got ‎enraged and shut down the universities for two years.” ‎

Noting that many of the country’s university professors left the country or were purged ‎by mistake, Hashemi insisted, “One of the things that happened at that time was the ‎purging of university professors, many of whom should not have been purged.” ‎

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