Friday Prayers across Iran: Tribute to Hashemi Rafsanjani
This week, in Friday prayers across Iran, sermonizers laid aside their differences with the Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and praised the late politician for his revolutionary credit and his service to the Islamic Republic.
In Tehran, Ayatollah Emami Kashani called Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani “a pillar of the revolution”. Emami Kashani gave an account of Hashemi Rafsanjani’s years of struggle against the Shah regime before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and commended the late cleric for “strong faith and patience.” It was because of Hashemi’s “shrewdness” that never separated from the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Tehran’s Friday prayers’ imam added. Emami Kashani also called the massive funeral of Hashemi Rafsanjani “a sign of national unity”
In Gorgan, center of northern Golestan Province, the moderate cleric Ayatollah Kazem Nourmofidi praised Hashemi for his revolutionary zeal. “Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani never took one step away from the revolution despite all the unkindness”, Nourmofidi said, alluding to severe criticisms of the recent years against Hashemi Rafsanjani by hardliners. “Because he was a man of the Revolution and loved it with his heart and soul.”
In Semnan, Mohammad-Bagher Abdous, this week’s sermonizer of the city’s Friday prayers, touched on the bond between Hashemi Rafsanjani and Ayatollah Khamenei. “The Supreme Leader’s message [of condolence] proves the high status” of Hashemi Rafsanjani, Abdous said, eulogizing Hashemi for his 38-year service to the Islamic Republic and the Revolution. Abdous pointed to Hashemi Rafsanjani’s “deep affection” for Ayatollah Khamenei, despite the will of ‘ill-wishers’.
In Tabriz, northwestern Iran, Mohsen Mojtahed-Shabestari praised Hashemi’s efficient management, both during his tenure as speaker of the first post-Revolution parliament and his two presidential terms where he had to challenge with the ruins of an eight-year war with Iraq. “No one should appropriate revolutionary figures” Shabestari added, criticizing those who placed Hashemi against the Islamic Revolution.
In Ilam, western Iran, Mohammad-Naghi Lotfi called “vigilance” and “insight” the two key characteristics of Hashemi Rafsanjani, and called the former president’s “glorious funeral” a “reward for his righteous conduct”. Lotfi also slammed at length the current defenders of Hashemi Rafsanjani, i.e. the Reformists, for their “disgraceful record” of attacking Hashemi Rafsanjani at the height of their power, and for their later attempt to draw closer Hashemi. “No one could separate Hashemi from Imam [Khomeini], Supreme Leadership, and the Revolution” Lotfi added.