Who Is Rafsanjani?

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s landslide election to Iran’s powerful Council of Experts was widely considered a rebuke to President Ahmadinejad, his fundamentalist backers, and his nuclear brinksmanship. But is he a gift to the West, or an ambitious politician with his own agenda for Iran and the Middle East? As Iran’s former president, Rafsanjani calls for Sunni and Shia cooperation, including stronger ties with Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. He says the United States is deliberately destabilizing the Middle East — but compared it to a “wounded tiger” that is being dangerously provoked by Ahmadinejad. He is also one of the wealthiest men in a nation that is struggling economically.

Iran's Cell Phone Spies

A member of Iran’s parliament has criticized a new group of plainclothes officials who seize and erase citizens’ cell phone if they contain independent news, political jokes, and other “illegal” messages, according to ADNKronos. This follows other bans on satellite TV and 10,000 Web sites. Source:
“Iran: Special police corps charged with controlling cell phones”
ADNKronos International (Italy), January 4, 2007