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Akbar Hashemi Bahramani (Rafsanjani)

In office
3 August 1989 – 2 August 1997
Vice President Hassan Habibi
Preceded by Ali Khamenei
Succeeded by Mohammad Khatami

Assumed office 
25 July 2007
Preceded by Ali Meshkini

Assumed office 
6 February 1988
Preceded by Ali Khamenei

In office
President Abolhassan Banisadr
Mohammad-Ali Rajai
Ali Khamenei
Prime Minister Mohammad-Ali Rajai
Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani (acting)
Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Leader Ruhollah Khomeini
Ali Khamenei
Preceded by Vacant
Succeeded by Mehdi Karroubi

Born August 25, 1934 (1934-08-25) (age 75)
Nough, Iran
Nationality Iranian
Political party Executives of Construction Party
Spouse(s) Efat Marashi(m. 1958)[1]
Children Mohsen Hashemi(b. 1959)
Fateme Hashemi(b. 1961)Faezeh Hashemi(b. 1962)Yaser Hashemi(b. 1963)Mehdi Hashemi(b. 1965)
Religion Usuli Twelver Shi'ite
Website Official Website

Ayatollah[2] Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (Persian: اکبر هاشمی رفسنجانی Akbar Hāshemī Rafsanjānī, Hashemi Bahramani (هاشمی بهرمانی); born August 25, 1934) is an influential Iranian politician, writer, who was the fourth President of Iran. Currently he holds the position of Chairman of the Assembly of Experts[3] (a deliberative body of Mujtahids that is charged with electing, monitoring, and dismissing the Supreme Leader of Iran) and Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran (an unelected administrative assembly that resolves legislative conflicts between the Majlis (Parliament) and the Council of Guardians).[citation needed]

Rafsanjani served as President of Iran from 1989 to 1997. In 2005 he ran for a third term in office, placing first in the first round of elections but ultimately losing to rival Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the run-off round of the 2005 election. He was also elected as the Chairman of Iranian parliament in 1980 and served till 1989. In 1980, Rafsanjani survived an assassination attempt, during which he was seriously injured.[citation needed]

Rafsanjani has been described as a centrist and a "pragmatic conservative". He supports a free market position domestically, favoring privatization of state-owned industries, and a moderate position internationally, seeking to avoid conflict with the United States and the West.[4]

As president, Rafsanjani was credited with spurring Iran's reconstruction following the 1980-88 war with Iraq.[5] He was also accused of corruption by both conservatives[6] and reformists,[7] and known for tough crackdowns on dissent. Post-presidency, Rafsanjani delivered a sermon at Tehran University in the summer of 1999 praising government use of force to suppress student demonstrations.[8] In more recent years, Rafsanjani has advocated freedom of expression, tolerance and civil society. In a speech on July 17 2009, Rafsanjani criticized restriction of media and suppression of activists, and put emphasis on the role and vote of people in the Islamic Republic constitution.[9][10][11] The event has been considered by analysts as the most important and most turbulent Friday prayer in the history of contemporary Iran.[12] Nearly 1.5-2.5 million people attended the speech in Tehran.[13]

According to one of their disillusioned members, Amir Farshad Ebrahimi, Rafsanjani is one of the founders and a chief financial supporter of the conservative Islamic group Ansar-e Hezbollah.[14]


Personal life

Rafsanjani was born in the village of Bahraman near the city of Rafsanjan in Kerman Province to a wealthy family of pistachio farmers.[15] He has eight siblings.[16]

From his marriage to Effat Mar'ashi in 1958, Rafsanjani has three sons: Mohsen, Mehdi, and Yasser, as well as two daughters, Fatemeh and Faezeh. Only Faezeh Hashemi chose a political life, which led to her becoming a Majlis representative and then the publisher of the newspaper Zan (woman).[citation needed]

Chairman of Parliament

Rafsanjani was the Chairman of Parliament of Iran for 9 years.He elect for Chairman in 1980 in the First Season of Parliament after Iranian Revolution.He was chairman in Second Season too.After the Death of Ruhollah Khomeini, Founder of Islamic Republic, He joind in Iranian presidential election, 1989 and Became President and became out from Parliament.


Rafsanjani adopted an "economy-first" policy, supporting a privatization policy against leftist economic tendencies in the Islamic Republic.[17] Another source describes his administration as "economically liberal, politically authoritarian, and philosophically traditional" which put him in confrontation with more radical deputies in the majority in the Majles of Iran.[18]


Domestic policy

Rafsanjani with General Ali Sayad Shirazi

Rafsanjani advocated a free market economy. With the state's coffers full, Rafsanjani pursued an economic liberalisation policy.[19] Rafsanjani's support for a deal with the United States over Iran's nuclear programme and his free-market economic policies contrasted with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his allies, who advocate maintaining a hard line against Western intervention in the Middle East while pursuing a policy of economic redistribution to Iran's poor.[20] By espousing World Bank inspired structural adjustment policies, Rafsanjani desired a modern industrial-based economy integrated into the global economy.[21] PUBLIC STATEMENTS:

Rafsanjani: "God's law prescribes four punishments for them (the Mojahedin.-1 )Kill them. 2-Hang them, 3-Cut off their hands and feet 4-Banish them. If we had killed two hundred of them right after the Revolution, their numbers would not have mounted this way. I repeat that according to the Quran, we are determined to destroy all [Mojahedin] who display enmity against Islam" ( Ettela'at, October 31, 1981).

Rafsanjani urged universities to cooperate with industries. Turning to the quick pace of developments in today's world, he said that with "the world constantly changing, we should adjust ourselves to the conditions of our lifetime and make decisions according to present circumstances".[22] Among the projects he initiated are Islamic Azad University.[23][24]

During his presidency, a period in which Rafsanjani is described by western media sources as having been the most powerful figure in Iran, the judicial system of Iran executed political dissidents, drug offenders, Communists, Kurds, Bahais, and clerics.[8]

Foreign policy

Following years of deterioration in foreign relations under Khomeini during the Iran-Iraq war, Rafsanjani sought to rebuild ties among Arab states,[25] as well as with countries in Central Asia, including Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.[26] However, relations with European countries and the United States remained poor, even though Rafsanjani has a track record of handling difficult situations and defusing crises.[27]

He condemned both the United States and Iraq during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. After the war he strove to renew close ties with the West, although he refused to lift Khomeini's fatwa against the British author Salman Rushdie.[28]

Rafsanjani has said that Iran is ready to assist Iraq, "expecting nothing in return". On the other hand, he has said that "peace and stability" is a function of the "evacuation of the occupiers."[29]

Iran gave humanitarian help to the victims of the conflict. Iran sent truck loads of food and medicine to Iraq and thousands of Kuwaiti refugees were given shelters in Iran.[30]

Rafsanjani voiced support to Prince Abdullah's peace initiative and to "everything the Palestinians agree to". He was also clear that Iran's international interests must take precedence over those of Iranian allies in Syria and Lebanon.[27]

Rafsanjani is a supporter of Iran's nuclear program. In 2007 Rafsanjani reiterated that the use of weapons of mass destruction was not part of the Islamic Republic culture. Rafsanjani said: "You [US and allies] are saying that you cannot trust Iran would not use its nuclear achievements in the military industries, but we are ready to give you full assurances in this respect."[31]

Currency crisis

During 1990-1995, Rafsanjani's administration faced the brunt of the second-generation US economic sanctions. He failed to stop the Iranian Rial from plunging 80% in value from 415 to 2,046 to the US Dollar, triggering the rise of the modern underground and barter economic networks.[citation needed]

After presidency

In 2000, in the first election after the end of his presidency, Rafsanjani ran again for Parliament. In the Tehran contest, Rafsanjani came in 30th, or last, place. At first he was not among the 30 representatives of Tehran elected, as announced by the Iranian Ministry of the Interior, but the Council of Guardians then ruled numerous ballots void, leading to accusations of ballot fraud in Rafsanjani's favor.[8] Rafsanjani thus became a Majlis representative, but resigned before being sworn in. He explained that he felt he was "able to serve the people better in other posts".[citation needed]

Rafsanjani is currently the Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council, that resolves legislative issues between the Majlis and the Council of Guardians.[citation needed]

In December 2006, Rafsanjani was elected to the Assembly of Experts representing Tehran with more than 1.5 million votes, which was more than any other candidate. Ahmadinejad opponents won majority of local election seats. On September 4, 2007 he was elected Chairman of the Assembly of Experts, the body that selects Iran's supreme leader, in what was considered a blow to the supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was running against Ahmad Jannati. Rafsanjani was re-elected to the position on March 10, 2009, running against Mohammad Yazdi. He received 51 votes compared to Yazdi's 26.[32][33]

Rafsanjani is currently sought by the Argentinian government for ordering the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires.[34]

Political parties

Although Rafsanjani has been a member of the pragmatic-conservative Combatant Clergy Association, he has a close bond to the reformist Kargozaran party. He has been seen as flip-flopping between conservative and reformist camps since the election of Mohammad Khatami, supporting reformers in that election, but going back to the conservative camp in the 2000 parliamentary elections as a result of the reformist party severely criticizing and refusing to accept him as their candidate. Reformists, including Akbar Ganji, accused him of involvement in murdering dissidents and writers during his presidency. In the end, the major differences between the Kargozaran and the reformists party weakened both and eventually resulted in their loss at the presidential elections in 2005. However, Rafsanjani has regained close ties with the reformers since he lost the 2005 presidential elections to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.[19]

After his loss at the presidential elections in 2005, a growing tension between him and President Ahmadinejad arose. Rafsanjani has criticized Ahmadinejad's administration several times for conducting a purge of government officials,[35] slow move towards privatization[36] and recently hostile foreign policy in particular the atomic energy policy.[37][38] In return Ahmadinejad has fought back that Rafsanjani failed to differentiate privatization with the corrupt takeover of government-owned companies and of foreign policies which led to sanctions against Iran in 1995 and 1996.[39][40] He also implicitly denounced Rafsanjani and his followers by calling those who criticize his nuclear program as "traitors".[41]

The 2009 Iranian election crisis

During the 2009 Presidential election, Rafsanjani's former rival and incumbent president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, won a landslide victory over challenger Mir-Hossein Mousavi, in an election that some believed inside Iran and elsewhere to have been rigged. Additionally, Rafsanjani's daughter was arrested on 2009-06-21 by plain clothes agents from Basij and later released while taking part in a protest against Iran's recent presidential elections; a maneuver, according to Amir Farshad Ebrahimi[14] she had done before in order to get elected for Majlis.

Rafsanjani is chairman of the Assembly of Experts, which is responsible for appointing or removing the Supreme Leader. As such, his role in Iran's future is likely pivotal. After the disputed results of the election were certified by the Supreme Leader, Rafsanjani was reported to have called a meeting of the Assembly of Experts, but it is unknown what the outcome or disposition of this meeting actually was.[42] During this time Rafsanjani relocated from Tehran to Qom, where the country's religious leaders sit. However, for the most part, Rafsanjani was silent about the controversial June 12 election and its aftermath.[43]

On July 17, 2009, Rafsanjani publicly addressed the election crisis, arrests and freedom of expression during Friday prayers. The prayers witnessed a crowd that resembled the Friday prayers early after the revolution, and supporters of both reformist and conservative parties took part in the event.[44] During prayers, Rafsanjani argued the following:[45]

All of us the establishment, the security forces, police, parliament and even protestors should move within the framework of law... We should open the doors to debates. We should not keep so many people in prison. We should free them to take care of their families... It is impossible to restore public confidence overnight, but we have to let everyone speak out... We should have logical and brotherly discussions and our people will make their judgments.... We should let our media write within the framework of the law and we should not impose restrictions on them... We should let our media even criticize us. Our security forces, our police and other organs have to guarantee such a climate for criticism. We should open the doors to debates... We should not keep so many people in prison. We should free them to take care of their families.

Meeting with Ali Khameini after day of ashura riots 2009.


  • Amir Kabir; the Hero of Fighting against Imperialism (in Persian)[citation needed]


  • When the shah gave us freedoms, we drove him out of the country. We won't make that mistake ourselves.[46]
  • Those in control of podiums, influence and media should avoid stirring schisms ...... and take steps towards the creation of unity.[47]
  • A large group of Iranians have doubts about last month's (June) disputed presidential election ... something should be done about the situation., On 2009 presidential election.[48]
  • If one day, the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel possesses now, then the imperialists' strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality. Of course, you can see that the Americans have kept their eyes peeled and they are carefully looking for even the slightest hint that technological advances are being made by an independent Islamic country. If an independent Islamic country is thinking about acquiring other kinds of weaponry, then they will do their utmost to prevent it from acquiring them. Well, that is something that almost the entire world is discussing right now. (December 2001)[49]
  • If the Americans attack Iran, the world will change. …They will not dare to make such a mistake (2004)[50]
  • We are not bothering anyone, but we have acquired nuclear expertise and we want to benefit from it to improve our life.
  • You need diplomacy and not slogans. This is the place for wisdom, the place for seeking windows that will take you to the objective. (2005)[51]
  • We want all the Palestinians back in their homeland, and then there can be a fair referendum for people to choose the form of state they want. Whoever gets the majority can rule. (2005)[52]
  • There is no doubt that America is a superpower of the world and we cannot ignore them. I think that Americans should gradually begin to adopt positive behavior rather than doing evil. They should not expect an immediate reaction in return for their positive measures. It will take time.[53]
  • I believe the main solution [referring to the nuclear issue] is to gain the trust of Europe and America and to remove their concerns over the peaceful nature of our nuclear industry and to assure them that there will never be a diversion to military use.[54]
  • Europe resolved a great problem – the problem of the Zionist danger. The Zionists, who constituted a strong political party in Europe, caused much disorder there. Since they had a lot of property and controlled an empire of propaganda, they made the European governments helpless. What Hitler and the German Nazis did to the Jews of Europe at that time was partly due to these circumstances with the Jews. They wanted to expel the Zionists from Europe because they always were a pain in the neck for the governments there. This is how this calamity fell upon the Muslims, especially the Palestinians, and you all know this history, more or less.[...]The first goal was to save Europe from the evil of Zionism, and in this, they have been relatively successful.[55]
  • We have no problems with Jews and highly respect Judaism as a holy religion.[56]
  • Look, as long as we can enrich uranium and master the fuel cycle, we don’t need anything else. Our neighbors will be able to draw the proper conclusions.[57]

See also


  1. ^ Sciolino, Elaine (1992-04-19). "Rafsanjani Sketches Vision of a Moderate, Modern Iran". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  2. ^ Official Website
  3. ^ In Rafsanjani’s election to key post, Iran moderates see victory Indian Express, September 06, 2007
  4. ^ RK Ramazani 'Revolutionary Iran: Challenge and Response in the Middle East,' The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Could Khameini's Ominous Sermon Be a Turning Point?
  7. ^ "It is a quirk of history that Mr. Rafsanjani, the ultimate insider, finds himself aligned with a reform movement that once vilified him as deeply corrupt." Slackman, Michael (June 21, 2009), "Former President at Center of Fight Within Political Elite", New York Times, 
  8. ^ a b c Sciolino, Elaine (July 19, 2009), "Iranian Critic Quotes Khomeini Principles", New York Times, 
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ Daragahi, Borzou; Mostaghim, Ramin (July 18, 2009), "Iranian protesters galvanized by sermon", Los Angeles Times,,0,2475629.story 
  11. ^ "Clashes as key Iranian cleric warns leaders", CNN, July 18, 2009, 
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ [4]
  14. ^ a b Amir Farshad Ebrahimi's video taped confession transcript
  15. ^ Ayatollah Ali-Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani from Radio Free Europe
  16. ^ Rafsanjani's possible return creates a buzz in Tehran by Gareth Smyth of the Financial Times
  17. ^ Pasri, Trita, Treacherous Alliance : the secret dealings of Israel, Iran and the United States, Yale University Press, 2007, p.132
  18. ^ Brumberg, Daniel, Reinventing Khomeini : The Struggle for Reform in Iran, University of Chicago Press, 2001, p.153
  19. ^ a b Rafsanjani's political life reviewed — in Persian.
  20. ^ Voice of ambition | World dispatch | Guardian Unlimited
  21. ^ Book: Factional politics in post-Khomeini Iran By Mehdi Moslem
  22. ^ Rafsanjani urges universities to cooperate with industries - Irna
  23. ^ Rafsanjani to Ahmadinejad: We Will Not Back Down (ROOZ :: English)
  24. ^ يادگارهاي مديريت 16 ساله :: RajaNews.Com ::
  25. ^ Mafinezam, Alidad and Aria Mehrabi, Iran and its Place Among Nations, Greenwood, 2008, p.37
  26. ^ Mohaddessin, Mohammad, Islamic Fundamentalism, Anmol, 2003, pp.70-72
  27. ^ a b Al-Ahram Weekly | Region | Showdown in Tehran
  28. ^ Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani Biography -
  29. ^ Iran ready for comprehensive assistance to Iraqi nation - Rafsanjani - Irna
  30. ^ Book: Iran's Persian Gulf policy: from Khomeini to Khatami. By Christin Marschall
  31. ^ Rafsanjani reassures West Iran not after A-bomb
  32. ^ "انتخاب مجدد هاشمی به ریاست خبرگان" (in Persian). 20 Esfand 1387 AP. 
  33. ^ "انتخاب مجدد هاشمی رفسنجانی به ریاست مجلس خبرگان" (in Persian). BBC Persian. 10 March 2009. 
  34. ^ Iranian terror network in S. America
  35. ^ BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Rafsanjani slams Iran president
  36. ^ BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Criticism of Ahmadinejad mounts
  37. ^ Rafsanjani, Ahmadinejad Engage in New War of Words (ROOZ :: English)
  38. ^
  39. ^ حمله به دولت در اولين كنفرانس خبري پس از 9 سال :: RajaNews.Com ::
  40. ^ نمی‌پذیریم عده ای حرف خود را به نام سند چشم انداز مطرح کنند :: RajaNews.Com ::
  41. ^ BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iran president attacks 'traitors'
  42. ^ World leaders urged by Iran's opposition party to reject Ahmadinejad's alleged victory] Julian Borger and Ian Black, The Guardian, June 14, 2009
  43. ^
  44. ^ [5]
  45. ^ Rafsanjani backs tolerance, dialogue Los Angeles Times, 2009
  46. ^ Revolution Leaders Struggle for Power in Tehran
  47. ^ Iran MP seeks evidence of 'mass burials'
  48. ^ Iran's Rafsanjani not to lead Friday prayers this week
  49. ^ "Rafsanjani's Qods Day speech (Jerusalem Day)", Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran, in Persian, translated by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, original broadcast December 14, 2001]
  50. ^ Iran's Missiles Can Now Hit Europe, Ex-Official Says
  51. ^ Iran Moves to Curb Hard-Liners: Power Given to Relatively Moderate Body Led by Rafsanjani
  52. ^ Iran's Leader Joins Large Anti-Israel March
  53. ^ New York Times
  54. ^ Rafsanjani urges U.S. to begin thaw in ties
  55. ^ Clip Transcript
  56. ^ Rafsanjani says Iran respects Jews and Judaism
  57. ^ [6]

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Hashem Sabbaghian
Interior minister of Iran
Succeeded by
Mohammad Reza Mahdavi-Kani
Preceded by
1979–1980 empty
Speaker of Parliament
Succeeded by
Mehdi Karroubi
Preceded by
Ali Khamenei
President of Iran
Succeeded by
Mohammad Khatami
Preceded by
Ali Khamenei
Chair of Expediency Council
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ali Meshkini
Chairman of Assembly of Experts
Succeeded by


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Sheikh Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (born in 1934) has been the head of the Expediency Council (Iran's top political arbitration body)[1] of the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1989.

Additionally, Rafsanjani has been the 1st deputy chairman of the Assembly of Experts. In the past, he was the was speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly for 1980-89 and president of Iran for 1989-1997.




Elections in Iraq

Support for mujahideen

  • Interviewer: How do you view the fears of the creation of a "Shiite Crescent"?
  • Hashemi Rafsanjani: Take Palestine, for example. We give support to the mujahideen in Palestine. Are they Shiites? No, they are Sunnis. Moreover, they are zealous Sunnis. Hamas is zealous with regard to Sunni Islam, but because of their Jihad and resistance, we supply them with aid. Likewise, when we supplied support in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo – were they Shiite? It's not like that. Similarly, in Afghanistan, when we gave supported to the Jihad of the mujahideen, we support all the groups – Sunni and Shiite alike – as much as we could. In the Iraq of Saddam Hussein, many of our Sunni brothers found refuge in Iran, just like the Shiite brothers. In Lebanon as well, we gave support when Israel invaded Lebanese territories and occupied them. We gave support to whoever resisted the Israeli occupation in Lebanon. The late sheik Sa'id Sha'ban, who was a close friend of Iran – was he Shiite? He was a Sunni scholar. It's not like that. It is not part of our plan...

Teachings of Jesus


See also


  1. Hojjatoleslam Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Note:This profile is a bit outdated.

External links

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Video clips

Simple English

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
اکبر هاشمی رفسنجانی

In office
August 3, 1989 – August 2, 1997
Vice President Hassan Habibi
Preceded by Ali Khamenei
Succeeded by Mohammad Khatami

Born 1934
Nough, Iran
Nationality iranian
Political party Combatant Clergy Association

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (Persian: اکبر هاشمی رفسنجانی Akbar Hāshemī Rafanjānī), Hashemi Bahramani (هاشمی بهرمانی) born on August 25, 1934, is an influential Iran ian politician. He has been the Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran since 1989.

Forbes magazine listed Rafsanjani in their list of richest people in the world and has written that as the real power behind the Iranian government, he "has more or less run the Islamic Republic for the past 24 years." [1] His wealth has earned him the infamous nickname of Akbar Shah in Iran.[2]

He served as President of Iran from 1989 to 1997, losing on the second ballot to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the 2005 election on his attempt for a third term in office. After this, he has tried to use his position in the Expediency Council to denounce President Ahmadinejad's administration. He said he would do some privatizations and change foreign policy. However, President Ahmadinejad has noted Rafsanjani's failure to make a difference between privatization and self takeover of government-owned companies. Ahmadinejad has also commmented on the foreign policies of Rafsanjani's administration which lead to sanctions against Iran in 1995 and 1996.[3][4]

Currently, one of his sons has been accused of receiving a bribe. Analysts expect that his son will not be put on trial, however.

He was a cleric who used to charge a few dollars for a sermon before 1979. Following the revolution, he and his cohorts became rich by confiscating agricultural land, real estate and industries belonging to those who fled Iran or were executed and jailed. He is a wanted man for the Mikanos murders of Kurdish leaders outside of Iran and unable to leave Iran for that reason. He knows that the Islamic Republic will fall sooner rather than later and that is why he gambled on Mousavi and Green Movement, in the hope of gaining power and saving the regime. He has nowhere to go, a marked man, who shall receive justice one way or another.


  1. Millionaire Mullahs from Forbes

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