After the indirect attack of President Rohani against the Guardian Council (EA World View), another polemic exploded between the conservative faction and the so called “pragmatic faction”. This time, the argument exploded after the meeting of Ayatollah Rafsanjani – chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council – with the Grand Ayatollah Yousef Saanei.
Grand Ayatollah Saanei is well known personality and, until 2010, he was also considered in Iran as a Twelver Shi’a Marja, meaning a source of emulation for all the Shiites. But, because of his political positions, a special clerical Court in Qom decided to cancel the title of “Marja” to Grand Ayatollah Yousef Saanei. Despite this decision, many important Shiite clerics continue to consider themselves as his followers. Between them there is the Iraqi Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani.
The political positions of Grand Ayatollah Saanei were always a matter of controversy inside the Islamic Republic. He never supported the development of a nuclear military program, declared that women have equal status in Islam, issued a fatwa against the suicide bombings and, above all, supported the Green Movement in 2009 and the end of the clerical regime in Iran.
The meaning of this meeting is important, especially because the Ayatollah Rafsanjani recently has recently announced his intention to run for the Presidency of the Assembly of Expert in 2016 (the assembly has the power to elect the next Supreme Guide).