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17 Jun

Iran – Emergency meeting of the Assembly of Experts

Ayatollah Ali Khamene’i may have violated the Iranian Constitution

17 June 2009 :: J.E. Robertson, Source-Twitter

An Iran observer last night told CNN that sources inside Iran report Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of Iran’s most pre-eminent political figures, and a powerful leader of the Expediency Council —which resolves disputes between Parliament and the Guardian Council—, cleric and former president, has called for an emergency meeting of the Assembly of Experts, in Qom. The Assembly of Experts is a group of clerics who are the only body in the Islamic Republic able to select or unseat the supreme leader of the Guardian Council.

The news suggests an effort by Rafsanjani to charge that Ayatollah Ali Khamene’i may have violated the Iranian Constitution and participated in or condoned the rigging of the election. Rafsanjani himself is the current head of the Assembly of Experts, and is formally referred to as Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Some say the political tide began to shift away from Pres. Ahmedinejad when Rafsanjani, a conservative but a fierce critic of the hardline president, when Rafsanjani was named speaker of the Assembly of Experts in 2007.

Article 3 [of the Iranian Constitution] lists as one of the principle goals of the state “the elimination of all forms of despotism and autocracy and all attempts to monopolize power”, as well as “the participation of the entire people in determining their political, economic, social, and cultural destiny”. Article 8 establishes on religious grounds a community principle, a “universal and reciprocal duty that must be fulfilled by the people with respect to one another, by the government with respect to the people, and by the people with respect to the government”.

Rafsanjani could press for reprimand of or removal of the supreme leader on the grounds that he violated his duty to the people, or that he engaged in prohibited despotism, or that he obstructed the right of “the entire people in determining their political, economic, social and cultural destiny”, should it be shown he had a hand in or knowingly condoned the adoption of a falsified count in Friday’s election. While the supreme leader’s title and the reputation of the office holders has always suggested expansive almost unchecked power, there are constitutional constraints that could be brought to bear, and Khamene’i has apparently made serious errors in judgment over the last week.

His immediate and unconditional approval of the dubious official vote-count favoring Ahmedinejad implicated him in any scandal that may emerge if wrongdoing is publicly confirmed and uncovered. Rafsanjani resigned his post as head of the Expediency Council, which has often sided with the supreme leader, thus distancing him from the potential misdeeds of the current leadership.

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