by Patrick Appel

From Muhammad Sahimi's analysis of Rafsanjani's speech:

Rafsanjani’s sermons demonstrated the glaring fissures in the leadership of the Islamic Republic. The fact that, (a) he called the present conditions a crisis; (b) acknowledged that many clerics and ayatollahs are unhappy with what has happened, contrary to the claims by the hard-liners that the clergy are unified behind them; (c) stated that whatever he speaks of are the results of his consultations with two powerful organ of the Islamic Republic, namely, the Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts; (d) he did not mention even once the Supreme Leader; (e) he acknowledged that people doubt the election, that people’s trust in the system had been destroyed, and he blamed the Voice and Visage of the Islamic Republic and the Guardian Council for it, and (f) always contrasted what the hard-liners do with what the Prophet and Imam Ali did, in order to demonstrate the falsehood of their claims that they are the true followers of the two revered Islamic figures, demonstrated that he has sided with the people in the crisis. That is bound to reinvigorate the democratic movement.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.