Critics line up against Iran's Rafsanjani

May 15, 2013 at 11:12 AM

TEHRAN, May 15 (UPI) -- The political record of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani should be examined given his last-minute bid for president, his critics said.

Rafsanjani registered as a candidate for presidential elections as the deadline approached last weekend. Conservative candidates Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, former chairman of the Iranian Parliament, and Alireza Zakani, a current member of Parliament, criticized Rasfanjani's political record.

They both said Tuesday that Rafsanjani showed a lack of judgment during the 2009 presidential campaign, Iran's Press TV reports.

Rafsanjani, who served two consecutive terms as president beginning in 1989, was criticized by conservatives for backing opposition leader and former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi during the 2009 contest.

Last year, Rafsanjani said he wasn't going to run for president, favoring a "young and energetic" person to lead to country.

He states on his website that Iran needs "a captain, not a boatman" and that international engagement should be embraced by the Iranian government.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Wednesday the Iranian people should choose a "a competent, virtuous, pious, revolutionary, resolute and steadfast person with jihadi perseverance" to lead the country.

Elections are scheduled for June 14.

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