Remarks by Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani in a national conference on Sustainable and Balanced Regional Development earlier this week have drawn reactions inside Iran.
The chairman of the Expediency Council addressed the country’s top managers and governors general on Tuesday and criticized the domestic opponents of the Geneva deal (the Joint Plan of Action) and a host of principlists who are pessimistic about the settlement of nuclear dispute and the fruitfulness of efforts by President Rouhani’s moderate government.
Rafsanjani said in the conference, “There, Netanyahu threatens Obama, and here the Worriers [a reference to the supporters of former President Ahmadinejad] keep saying that they will reveal the secrets. We are yet to know what those secrets are.”
Principlist-leaning Tasnim News Agency filed a report in reaction, the translation of which comes below:
At a time when Iranian MPs know nothing about the content of nuclear talks – and this has always been one of their complaints about the Foreign Ministry and Mohammad Javad Zarif – what does Hashemi’s claim about threats by MPs to disclose secrets mean?
In reaction to insistence by Iranian deputies to be kept posted on the details of the talks, foreign minister has said, “I will not divulge the details even if I am impeached [by parliament].”
If details of the talks are to be disclosed, nobody other than the president’s inner circle and the negotiating team knows about them. Normally these details are expected to be revealed either by these people [who are involved in the talks] or beyond Iran’s borders by the US negotiating team.”
The top councilor himself has repeatedly taken advantage of this tactic – threatening to dig up dirt and uncover secrets – in response to his critics.
[Part of Hashemi’s remarks in which he has equated the stance of Zarif’s critics – who blame what they call the foreign minister’s optimistic attitude toward the West, the US in particular – with that of the Israeli prime minister, has drawn an implicit response from the Iranian parliament speaker.]
In an open session of parliament on Wednesday, Ali Larijani reacted to Netanyahu’s speeches at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and on Capitol Hill, describing his remarks as nothing but a political show and electioneering with no real value for Republicans or Likud.
Larijani then said, “If certain MPs raise concern about the nuclear program, it is because of the importance they attach to protecting the nuclear plan which is a national achievement.
“I do not have any concern about the limits which have been set for the talks, but comparing the concern of Iranian MPs and officials with the hostile attitude of the Zionist regime’s leader is false and unfair.”