Head of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani speaking to a number of reform activists in Mashhad on Sunday pointed to last year’s presidential election as a practice of democracy and said that people chose Hassan Rouhani for his plans.
"Today the world talks of freedom for people. It is an acknowledged fact in current talks that people’s fate is chosen by people’s vote,” he noted
When people’s opinion is taken as the base, there will be no skirmish. But there must be talks, reasoning, and freedom of speech, that is, we must hear others as well. If that is internalized in our society, we will have taken a big step forward. We used to have vacillations in the past, but now it is the time to head for moderation, Hashemi stated.
Condemning extremist acts he said "Good sense, evidence, and history tell us that the basic instinct is moderation. The country has also reached the point to realize that if we do not contain extremists, they will become ISIL, Taliban, or Boko Haram; a new khalifat rising from a corner of the Islamic world every day.”
He also pointed to the Iranian state's internet censorship policies and said "People are in touch with all news and as we go forward their access is facilitated more and more."
One can no longer block the way to communications technology. There is hardly any household without educated people these days, and they are all in touch with the news, ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani asserted.
The former president then pointed to the public concern over economic sanctions imposed on Iran and said "We have to open the doors that are closed. These days they do Iranians wrong oversees. There is much negative promotions against us. But a genuine, noble Iranian can be known in the world for his precious thoughts.”
Hashemi then said "Right now the status of the freedom of speech has grown a little better, but we are not content yet and things have to gradually reform.”