On the anniversary of the death of Iranian Expediency Council chairman and Experts Assembly member Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of the pragmatic camp in Iran, who was the right hand man of the founder of the Islamic Revolution regime, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and the most prominent critic of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, we present two MEMRI TV clips of his statements.
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (image: presstv.com)
The first clip is of his last Friday sermon, delivered in July 2009 after the regime suppressed the popular protests of the Green Movement. Following this sermon, Khamenei dismissed Rafsanjani from his post as the regime's Friday preacher at Tehran University, due to his criticism of the regime's oppression of the people. In this last sermon, he urged the Chinese government to stop massacring its Muslim citizens – hinting at a resemblance to the Iranian regime – and warned the Iranian regime that its policies would result in the loss of the people's support, while also demanding the release of Iranians who had been arrested during the protests.
The second clip, from January 2016, one year before his death, is of statements in which Rafsanjani harshly condemned the Iranian regime's oppression of its citizens, especially students and young people, and called to allow freedom of expression and other political freedoms.
It should be noted that Rafsanjani's sudden death, at a swimming pool he used to frequent, may have had to do with his criticism of Khamenei and the regime. His children, as well as Iranian dissident Mehdi Khazali, claimed that he had been assassinated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
For a clip of Mehdi Khazali's statements, click below:
In June 2016, MEMRI warned that Rafsanjani's life may be in danger due to his criticism of the regime. See:
Special Dispatch No. 6464, Escalation In Political - And Perhaps Also Physical - Threats To Iranian Expediency Council Head Rafsanjani, June 8, 2016.
To view the clip of Rafsanjani's July 2009 sermon, click below:
To view a clip of Rafsanjani's January 2016 statements, click below:
 On Rafsanjani's struggle with the regime, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6321, Power Struggle Between Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei's Ideological Camp And Rafsanjani's Pragmatic Camp Intensifies – Part II: Regime Aligns Against 'New Fitna' (Pragmatic Camp Led By Rafsanjani) And U.S., February 26, 2016.
 Social media and the opposition website khabargar.co presented statements made by Rafsanjani's son, Mehdi Hashemi, outside the hospital, in which he accused the IRGC of his father's death (khabargar.co, January 10, 2017). In November 2017, Rafsanjani's family complained that it had not yet received the autopsy report, and that a will he had written after 2009 had disappeared from his office. Khabar Online (Iran), November 14, 2017.