Following are excerpts from a public address delivered by Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, chairman of the Iranian Assembly of Experts and of the Expediency Council, which aired on Channel 1, Iranian TV on July 17, 2009:
Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani: I would like to talk about the massacre in China. The Muslims in China are going through hard times. From this podium, I address the government of China. We expect the Chinese government to demonstrate self-restraint regarding the acts of oppression against these people.
We consider the Chinese government to be a wise government, which works toward the development of its country. We give it some brotherly advice: This is not to its benefit. They know that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and almost 60 independent [Muslim] countries. Throughout the world, the Muslims have their own identity. The hearts of all the Muslims are with the Muslims of China, who are currently being subjected to oppression.
China should take note. It must take into consideration its interests, and its ties with the world of Islam and with the hearts of the Muslims. From now on, Allah willing, we will no longer witness such injustice toward the Muslims in China or elsewhere.
Doubts [about the election results] have gnawed at our people like leprosy. There are two [groups]. Some people have no doubts, are firm in their position, and do what they have to. There are others, who are quite numerous and comprise a large part of our intelligent and wise nation. They say: "We have doubts." In order to alleviate their doubts, we must take action.
These are bitter days. Due to the circumstance that developed after the elections, these are bitter times. I don't think that anybody, from any group, wanted this to happen. All of us sustained losses. Why should this be the case? Today, more than ever, we are in need of unity.
My brothers and sisters from all groups – you know me. I have never taken advantage of this podium for divisive talk. I always remain above political differences. I am doing this now, and I am not biased toward any side. In my view, we must all put our heads together and find a way out, in order to move our country forward in unity, to save ourselves from the bad and dangerous consequences of the grudges that have begun to appear, and to make our enemies despair, so that they will not covet what is ours.
What should we do to make this happen? I have some proposals in mind. Of course, I've presented them to some [members of the Assembly of] Experts, and to the members of the Expediency Council, in whose opinion I have confidence. I present them here as a solution, and perhaps others will accept them, and take sincere action, Allah willing. What is important to us is to restore the people's confidence in us – that same confidence which mobilized the masses [in 1979], and which now has been slightly harmed. This should be our sacred goal.
Let me now present my proposal for restoring this confidence. I have written down several points. Firstly, all of us – the regime, the government, the parliament, and the security, military, and police force, as well as the opponents from among the people... We must all operate in accordance with the law. If we violate the law, there will be no bounds.
There is no need, under these circumstances, to have such prominent people in prison. We must let them return to their families. We should not let...
Crowd: Allah Akbar!
Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani: We should not let our enemies – because of a few people held in prison – rebuke us, gloat at us, laugh at us, and hatch schemes against us. We should have the insight, wisdom, and patience to tolerate one another. The next issue is that we should show solidarity, and comfort the people harmed by the recent incidents. We should comfort people in mourning and make them feel closer to the regime. This is feasible.