Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani issued a press release Tuesday denying reports that he received a letter from Secretary of State John Kerry that said the United States would support him if he chose to run in Iran’s presidential election next month.
Whether his denial will carry any weight, however, may be moot, as Iranian media is reporting that Rafsanjani and another candidate, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s handpicked successor, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, were disqualified from the race.
In a May 15 exclusive, I reported on WND that a secret message from Kerry was delivered to Rafsanjani of U.S. support, according to a source affiliated with the office of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Over 100 of the regime’s media outlets, including Channel 1 TV, immediately picked up WND’s report, which forced Rafsanjani’s office to post a denial on his official website.
“After the false publication of internal media quoting American WND regarding a secret letter by John Kerry to Ayatollah Rafsanjani and on the threshold of the presidential elections,” Rafsanjani’s press release said, “some vengeful media in Iran, without considering the national interest of the country and with the goal of character assassination, have expanded on news and rumors of anti-revolutionary foreign media.”
The press release said it’s unfortunate that some “internal media,” based on their political tendencies, have chosen to become aligned with WND’s report.
After a warning that Rafsanjani might reveal some official regime secrets, the release asks, “Are (the media) willing to publish reports against all officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran!?”
The release said Rafsanjani’s office regretted this “anti-human and anti-moral” behavior by the “internal media” that have become the “loudspeaker” of the anti-revolutionaries and he reserved the right to take legal action against those in regime media who expanded on the WND report.
The outreach to Rafsanjani goes back to what led to the Iran-Contra Affair in the 1980s in which a direct channel of communication was established with Rafsanjani, who was then the speaker of parliament.
Rafsanjani had promised the American administration that once Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic Revolution, died, then relations between the two countries could improve, but his promises then and after continued to be hollow as he bought time for the regime to progress in various fields.
My reports of April 30 and May 2 on WND also revealed that Ahmadinejad had been arrested and detained for several hours recently and warned by regime officials to keep his mouth shut.
Earlier, the regime’s media outlet Baztab reported that Ahmadinejad had warned associates that if Mashaei was rejected as a candidate, then Ahmadinejad would reveal recordings confirming that the regime defrauded the voters in the 2009 presidential election.
Our revelation of the news caused a firestorm inside the regime, which then arrested the editor of Baztab for publishing the report. They then attacked WND and me for publishing the report of the arrest and the revelation about the recording, which reportedly quotes officials telling Ahmadinejad in 2009 that they would announce his total winning tally as 24 million votes where, in fact, the actual number was much lower.
The source who provided the information about Ahmadinejad’s arrest then revealed the content of the tape (which is a bit longer than 11 minutes) as being between Ahmadinejad and Vahid Haghanian, the head of the supreme leader’s office. The two discuss the fraud in which Haghanian said election officials added millions of votes to Ahmadinejad’s tally to declare him the winner.
During that phone call, the two argued as Haghanian told Ahmadinejad what Khamenei expected of him. Haghanian told him that they had to add millions of fake votes to declare him the winner despite having all the Guards and Basij personnel voting for him.
The actual results of the election, as provided by the source were:
• Mir Hossein Mousavi won the election with over 19,250,000 votes.
• Ahmadinejad was second with a little over 13,000,000 votes.
• Mohsen Rezaei had approximately 3,700,000 votes.
• Mehdi Karoubi had approximately 3,200,000 votes.
Millions of Iranians took to the streets after the 2009 election results were reported, calling Ahmadinejad’s reported 62 percent tally of voters a fraud and demanding a free election.
Thousands were arrested, with many tortured and executed. Mousavi and Karoubi have been under house arrest ever since.
It will be interesting to see if Khamenei steps in to get both Rafsanjani and Mashaei on the approved list for the presidency and if not what the reaction of the two factions will be but one thing is for sure and that is Khamenei to pick his own candidate out of the hat, as the regime always does, and as they did with Ahmadinejad himself, to keep the clerical regime alive longer.
It is important to point out that, the Iranian presidential election next month will not be free. The candidates have all been selected to run because they are loyal to the Islamic dictatorship.
Most of the candidates are criminals, including three with arrest warrants issued against them by either Interpol or Argentinian courts for the 1994 Jewish Community Center bombing in Buenos Aires: Mohsen Rezaei, the ex-chief commander of the Revolutionary Guards, and two former regime officials, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ali Akbar Velayati.
Another candidate, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, current mayor of Tehran and former police commander, has said of the 1999 student protests:
“I was the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Air Force at the time. Photographs of me are available showing me on the back of a motorbike, with Hossein Khaleqi, beating them (the protesters) with wooden sticks. … I was among those carrying out beatings on the street level and I am proud of that. I didn’t care that I was a high-ranking commander.”
Recently an audiotape surfaced on the Internet revealing his 2003 speech to the Basij paramilitary forces bragging about his role at the Supreme National Security Council meeting to get the authorization to attack the student protesters: “I spoke very harshly. Didn’t observe proper protocol, and I told them as head of the police, I will demolish anyone who would show up tonight on the campus to protest … with my behavior I intimidated them to get the permission to enter and also to shoot (at protesters).”
Under the Islamic Republic’s constitution, the 12-member Guardian Council decides the eligibility of who can run for office, and anyone with any history of opposing the regime is barred from participation. The council is made up of six Islamic faqihs (experts in Islamic law) appointed by the supreme leader and six jurists nominated by the head of the Judiciary (who is himself appointed by the supreme leader), and then approved by the parliament.
The last report by the source is that the security forces are present in Tehran and wide arrests are underway of associates of Mashaei and Rafsanjani.
WND REPORT DISQUALIFIES AYATOLLAH?
By: Reza Kahlili / May 21 , 2013
Iranian Presidential Election Turning into a Circus
By: Reza Kahlili / May 21, 2013
The Guardian Express
Iran Elections and American Influence as Ahmadinejad Reaches term limits.
By: James Turnage / May 16, 2013
Source: U.S. taking sides in Iran’s election
By: Reza Kahlili / May 15 , 2013
The Washington Times
KAHLILI: Teetering on the brink
By: Reza Kahlili / May 08, 2013
IRAN WARNS TURKS ON REPORT OF AHMADINEJAD ARREST
By: Reza Kahlili / May 05 , 2013
Hurriyet – Turkey
Iran Official Statement: Ahmadinejad Arrested
May 03, 2013
The Guardian Express
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Election was Counterfeit
By: James Turnage / May 03, 2013
Iran Denies Ahmadinejad Arrest
May 03, 2013
Source: Tape proves Ahmadinejad lost 2009 election
By: Reza Kahlili / May 02 , 2013
Haber – Turkey
May 02, 2013
Memleket – Turkey
Iranian President arrested?
May 02, 2013
REPORT: IRANIAN PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD ARRESTED BY REVOLUTIONARY GUARD
by AWR HAWKINS / May 02, 2013
Report: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Arrested
By JPOST.COM STAFF / May 02, 2013
Was Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrested by the Revolutionary Guard?
By: Steve Nolan / May 01, 2013
The Daily Beast
Iranian President Ahmadinejad Arrested
May 01, 2013
IRNA – Iran
US website publishes false counter-security news item against Iran
May 01, 2013
The Guardian Express
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Arrested – Source Update
By: Randy Rose / April 30, 2013
IRAN SOURCE: PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD ARRESTED
Officers disarm guards, take him to secret location before releasing
By: Reza Kahlili / April 30 , 2013