Mail Online
July 19, 2009

[efoods]One of Iran’s most powerful clerics today declared his country was in crisis as he helped spark the biggest show of dissent in weeks.

Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said many people still had doubts over the legitimacy of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmedineja’s re-election last month.

In apparent defiance of Iran’s supreme leader, Rafsanjan used Friday prayers to stage a show of dissent over the disputed poll which sparked violent protests across the country.

Rafsanjani, who heads the Council of Experts – a powerful body that can in theory dismiss the supreme leader – also attacked the way authorities had handled the poll and its aftermath.

‘When people are not in the scene and their votes are not there, that government is not Islamic,’ he said, referring to opposition charges of vote-rigging. ‘Today is a bitter day.’

Rafsanjani said it was vital to restore voters’ faith in the systemas ‘that trust cannot be brought back in a day or a night … We have all been harmed.’

Today, protesters again took to the streets, sparking clashes in central Tehran between police and followers of opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi.

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