Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Mahan Abedin launches attach on Former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani

Likudnik Fantasies: Vile and Shameful Slander by Mahan Abedin:

Mahan Abedin has launched an attempt to thwart the will of the people by spreading vile and shameful charges. Abedin is so proficient at mud-slinging that if he was here in the United States he would be welcome in President Bush's campaign.

"The Rafsanjani years could not be more different from the Moussavi era. Given the ludicrously pompous title of "commander of construction" by his supporters, Rafsanjani presided over the deconstruction of all the economic and social gains of the previous decade. Within a few years his government had incurred foreign debts exceeding US$30 billion. The efficiency of the Iranian civil service - ranking as the most noteworthy achievement of Moussavi - was relentlessly rolled back as cronyism, incompetence and rampant corruption gradually displaced meritocracy, efficiency and transparency.

Celebrated in the West as a modernist and a pragmatist, Rafsanjani in fact orchestrated the rise to power of the conservative coalition. Misrepresented in the West as defenders of Iranian and Islamic tradition, the conservatives are in fact distinguished by the colossal commercial interests of their influential constituents. The conservative coalition that is relentlessly trying to secure all bastions of power in the country today is chiefly made up of shadowy organizations such as Habibollah Asgar-Owladi's "Islamic Coalition Party", secretive clerics who pull strings from the shadows and ambitious offspring of leading clerics who have forged strong commercial links with rich and influential Iranian exiles in the cosmopolitan cities of Paris, London, Washington and Los Angeles.

Rafsanjani's single-minded pursuit of consolidating his own power led him to strike Faustian deals with widely different constituencies. His courting of shadowy politicized clerics enabled these wily old men to not only broaden their political influence but also gain a foothold in the impenetrable sanctums of the Islamic Republic's powerful intelligence community. This had disastrous consequences, as evidenced by the serial murders of leading dissidents, journalists and artists. Rather bizarrely, Rafsanjani courted elements of the previous regime at the same time. Functionaries in the civil service back in the 1970s were invited back to the country as "consultants" to ministers. One such candidate - known for his strong links to the deposed Shah's family - was made a senior manager in the country's main tourist organization before he was literally forced out of his office by families who had lost relatives during the Iranian revolution.


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