by Chris Bodenner
Juan Cole crafts an excellent analysis of Rafsanjani's speech:
He points out that the parliament, president and members of municipal councils are directly elected. But the Supreme Leader is indirectly elected, since he is chosen by the Assembly of Experts. But they in turn are directly elected by the people (i.e. the Experts are a sort of electoral college in American terms). Opinion polling shows that Iranians mostly want the Supreme Leader to be directly elected. But Rafsanjani's point is that even the Supreme Leader, whom some see as a theocratic dictator, derives his position from the operation of popular sovereignty.
Brian Ulrich adds:
It places him squarely in the reformist camp in a way he simply wasn't before, endorsing not only their candidate as an opponent of the principlists, but their core tenets, as well. Coming from a pillar of the establishment in such a high-profile setting, it also contributes to a weakening of the aura surrounding the office of the Supreme Leader, and sends a strong signal that the Green Wave is not over, even if it's path to victory is not yet apparent.