Rafsanjani as Prayer Leader
"The next flash point in the face-off is expected this Friday during prayers at Tehran University when Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, an influential former president, will be leading them for the first time since the election a month ago.This is yet another astute move by the opposition.
"A strong supporter of defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, Mr. Rafsanjani – a pillar of the regime for 30 years – has emerged since the contested June 12 election as one of the key figures in a power struggle with Iran's supreme leader and his allies, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad...
"Posters titled The Promised Day Has Arrived are already being circulated ahead of Friday prayers. They promise the presence of Mr. Mousavi and former President Mohammad Khatami, and urge reformists to flood the prayer hall.
"Friday prayers at Tehran University have traditionally been a political agenda setter for the Islamic Republic and conservative rallying point. The open-air hall rings weekly with condemnations of the enemies of the Islamic Republic and cries of 'Death to America.' A week into the postelection rioting, Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, took the unusual step of personally addressing Friday prayers and delivered a speech condemning the rioters as the unwilling pawns of a British-fomented 'Velvet Revolution.'"
(Crossposted to American Footprints)