Iranian "Shark" Announces His Candidacy

As expected, hardliner Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani announced his decision to run for president of Iran in the June 17th elections:

A founding leader of the Iranian revolution, who promoted militant Islam in the Middle East and led his country through a war, yesterday became the favourite to be elected President.

Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, 70, who left the presidency eight years ago, announced last night that he had joined the field for the election on June 17.

He has rarely strayed far from the centre of power since he helped Ayatollah Khomeini to overthrow the Shah in a revolution 25 years ago.

His nickname is Kusheh, which in Persian means “Shark”.

In December 2001 Rafsanjani called for on Muslim States to nuke Israel:

One of Iran’s most influential ruling cleric called Friday on the Muslim states to use nuclear weapon against Israel, assuring them that while such an attack would annihilate Israel, it would cost them “damages only”.

“If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world”, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani told the crowd at the traditional Friday prayers in Tehran.

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