Aljazeera English now has a video report on Rafsanjani’s sermon and the Friday protests:
Ghanbar Naderi points out that Rafsanjani has a long history of flip-flopping between the hard line and reformist camps. I would argue that this is because he is a pragmatic conservative, and his sermon today shows that he has concluded that shoe-horning Ahmadinejad into a second term by stealing the election is above all just not a practical course of action even for conservatives. He is playing a role similar to that of prominent American conservatives who defected to Obama in fall of 2008, because they just did not believe McCain-Palin were a practical alternative. Precisely because Rafsanjani is not a hard-edged ideologue, his clear ambivalence about the regime’s actions is all the more striking as an indication of the shaky situation in Iran.
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