Rafsanjani speaks after rejection

The Washington Post

Two days after being disqualified from running in Iran’s upcoming presidential election, former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani broke his silence Thursday, saying difficult days loom for the country.

“Considering the present situation, the next government will face a lot of problems and difficulties as a result of mismanagement and unfair sanctions, and whoever is to lead the next government, we have to be thankful to him and help him,” Rafsanjani, 78, said as he met with his campaign team to close their headquarters in Tehran.

The two-term former president did not criticize the vetting process carried out by the 12-member Guardian Council, which approved the candidacies of eight out of nearly 700 applicants, but he told his supporters he was relieved to be out of the race.

“I knew about the difficulties that lay ahead of me,” he said in remarks published on his website and also reported by domestic media.