Following are excerpts from a speech delivered by Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, chairman of the Iranian Expediency Council, on August 29, 2013, and posted on the Internet on September 2.
Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani: Our current problems are real problems. We are besieged, under sanctions and boycott. We cannot use our resources, we cannot sell our oil, and if we do sell it, we cannot get the money transferred to us. If we buy anything, we must pay extra. We must pay extra in order to have the money transferred to us.
We have many problems, and recently, we are witnessing even greater danger. You watch the news, so you see that the U.S., the West in general, and some Arab countries have just about declared war on Syria. Any moment now, we will hear the sound of rockets and bombs. May God have mercy on the Syrian people.
Over the past two years, the Syrian people have suffered greatly. Over 100,000 people have been killed, and there are eight million refugees, within and outside Syria. The prisons are crammed full and there is no more room, so they have seized a few stadiums to fill them up too.
The Syrian people are experiencing harsh conditions. On the one hand, they are bombed with chemicals by their own government, and on the other hand, they can expect American bombs.