Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (August 25, 1934 – 8 January, 2017) was an Iranian politician and writer, who served as the fourth president of Iran from 1989 to 1997. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts until his resignation in 2011, and chaired the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran.
- If one day, the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel possesses now, then the imperialists' strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality. Of course, you can see that the Americans have kept their eyes peeled and they are carefully looking for even the slightest hint that technological advances are being made by an independent Islamic country. If an independent Islamic country is thinking about acquiring other kinds of weaponry, then they will do their utmost to prevent it from acquiring them. Well, that is something that almost the entire world is discussing right now.
- "Rafsanjani's Qods Day speech (Jerusalem Day)", Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran, in Persian, translated by BBC Worldwide Monitoring, original broadcast December 14, 2001]
- If the Americans attack Iran, the world will change. …They will not dare to make such a mistake'
- Look, as long as we can enrich uranium and master the fuel cycle, we don’t need anything else. Our neighbors will be able to draw the proper conclusions.
- Said to George Perkovich (2005)
- This democracy… The elections in Iraq were held despite the American opposition. It was the will of the Iraqi people and the religious authorities. [The elections] were the result of pressure by Ayatollah Sistani, by the Iraqi religious authorities, and by the fighting forces in Iraq on America. They left the US no choice but to allow the elections.
- What America does all over the world in the name of the war on terrorism, the way in which it plunders the resources of peoples in needy and backwards countries, its aggression in international organizations, which belong to all of the world's peoples, and the inflammatory propaganda it uses in order to undermine other countries – all of these certainly contradict the spirit of the teachings of Jesus.[...] Pope's functionaries [...]should say to the Americans: Through the crimes you commit you disgrace Jesus, because you use the names of Jesus and the church to win over many votes in the American public.
- I believe the main solution [referring to the nuclear issue] is to gain the trust of Europe and America and to remove their concerns over the peaceful nature of our nuclear industry and to assure them that there will never be a diversion to military use.
- Remarks in an interview (May 5,2005)
- There is no doubt that America is a superpower of the world and we cannot ignore them. I think that Americans should gradually begin to adopt positive behavior rather than doing evil. They should not expect an immediate reaction in return for their positive measures. It will take time.
- You need diplomacy and not slogans. This is the place for wisdom, the place for seeking windows that will take you to the objective.
- Remarks about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (October 8, 2005)
- We want all the Palestinians back in their homeland, and then there can be a fair referendum for people to choose the form of state they want. Whoever gets the majority can rule.
- Excerpts at Friday prayers (October 29, 2005)
- The possibility of a war under the current circumstances is not far-fetched and there is some evidence for that.
- Interviewer: How do you view the fears of the creation of a "Shiite Crescent"?
- Hashemi Rafsanjani: Take Palestine, for example. We give support to the mujahideen in Palestine. Are they Shiites? No, they are Sunnis. Moreover, they are zealous Sunnis. Hamas is zealous with regard to Sunni Islam, but because of their Jihad and resistance, we supply them with aid. Likewise, when we supplied support in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo – were they Shiite? It's not like that. Similarly, in Afghanistan, when we gave supported to the Jihad of the mujahideen, we support all the groups – Sunni and Shiite alike – as much as we could. In the Iraq of Saddam Hussein, many of our Sunni brothers found refuge in Iran, just like the Shiite brothers. In Lebanon as well, we gave support when Israel invaded Lebanese territories and occupied them. We gave support to whoever resisted the Israeli occupation in Lebanon. The late sheik Sa'id Sha'ban, who was a close friend of Iran – was he Shiite? He was a Sunni scholar. It's not like that. It is not part of our plan...
- Europe resolved a great problem – the problem of the Zionist danger. The Zionists, who constituted a strong political party in Europe, caused much disorder there. Since they had a lot of property and controlled an empire of propaganda, they made the European governments helpless. What Hitler and the German Nazis did to the Jews of Europe at that time was partly due to these circumstances with the Jews. They wanted to expel the Zionists from Europe because they always were a pain in the neck for the governments there. This is how this calamity fell upon the Muslims, especially the Palestinians, and you all know this history, more or less.[...]The first goal was to save Europe from the evil of Zionism, and in this, they have been relatively successful.
- Excerpts from a Friday sermon on International Jerusalem Day (October 5, 2007)
- A large group of Iranians have doubts about last month's (June) disputed presidential election … something should be done about the situation., on the 2009 presidential election.
- Remarks at a Friday prayer (August 10, 2009)
- On June 3, 1989, Khomeini, eighty-six years old and ailing, died of heart failure. In his will, he left a parting shot against the Saudis. The twenty-nine-page document was read by Ali Khamenei, the president and soon-to-be Supreme Leader. “Muslims should curse the tyrants, including the Saudi royal family, these traitors to God’s great shrine, may God’s curse and that of his prophets and angels be upon them … King Fahd spends a large part of the people’s wealth every year on the anti-Qorani totally baseless superstitious faith of Wahhabism. He abuses Islam and the dear Qoran.” Khomeini’s death would in fact allow a détente to begin between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The president, Ali Khamenei, became Supreme Leader; the speaker of the house, Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, was elected president. Despite the vitriol Rafsanjani had spouted at the Saudis during the 1987 hajj crisis, he was a pragmatist, eager to rebuild the country’s economy after the war with Iraq. In August 1990, Iran’s enemy Saddam Hussein invaded and annexed Kuwait; his troops were on Saudi Arabia’s border. The Iranians and the Saudis were suddenly united in fear of the same madman. By September, the foreign ministers of both countries were talking in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
- Kim Ghattas, Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East (2020)