RealNews

Iran’s Ex-Leader Seeks Return in the Trappings of a Reformer

It is an election as contradictory as Iran itself: the front-runner is a pillar of the Islamic Revolution now cast as the man who can curb the excesses of hard-line clerics and improve relations with the country’s bogeyman, the United States.Indeed, this politician, Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president and self-styled free-marketer, cloaks himself in the trappings of a reformist as carefully as he wears his tailored blue-gray clerical robes. But in an interview, one of a series he is giving to promote his candidacy, Mr. Rafsanjani sounds less than conciliatory. He says the United States is not a democracy, and demands that it make the first concession before relations improve. Like all senior officials, he steadfastly defends Iran’s right to develop nuclear technology.Full Story

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