Ever since Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani became Iran’s president, back in 1989, he’s attracted warmly appreciative reviews from all those in the West who want to believe that something good is happening in Iranian politics. He has a deceptive way of uttering, from time to time, phrases and even whole sentences that suggest he hopes for a more humane and sensible Iranian government.
He served as president for two terms, 1989 to 1997. When he announced earlier this month that he wanted to become president again, his admirers rejoiced. He was said to be the favourite candidate of John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of state, who imagined making a deal with him, a deal that Barack Obama has been praying for since he was elected in 2008.
But this week, Iran’s Guardian Council, which decides which candidates are allowed to run for president, announced that Rafsanjani didn’t make the cut…
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