Will the ghosts go unleashed?
Rafsanjani was first 'elected' as Iran's president in 1989. Before, he had served as Majlis (Iran's parliament) speaker. The 1989 election was not more than a show -as was the case in all but one (1979) previous presidential elections. Rafsanjani's only opponent was Dr Abbas Sheybani (a Majlis PM) who was simply put there so that the election would not seem too fake. Rafsanjani 'won' the majority of the votes. To my memory, Sheybani won only 3000 votes!!
In this way, Rafsanjani rose into the second most powerful position. However he was seen as the most powerful man in Iran. Hence the nickname "Akbar Shah" which implied Rafsanjani's ambitious personality: an unknown man, an ordinary talabeh, whose rise to power owed much to the elimination of a number of key figures in Iranian politics: Motahhari, Beheshti, Mofatteh, Montazeri, and, on top of all, Ayatollah Khomeini, who had died just a few weeks before the election in 1989.
How did Khomeini's death help Rafsanjani reach to the status of the most powerful man in Iran? I shall discuss it in more details later. But for now let me just deal with a hugely overlooked question: did Khomeini really die of cancer as it was reported by officials? My answer is NO! Khomeini did not even suffer from cancer. There are a few people who would, if they could, testify to the truth of my claim: Dr Iraj Fazel (the chief surgeon of the operation on Khomeini in May 1989), Dr Hasan Arefi, Dr Mohammad Reza Zafar Ghandi (now the head of Tehran University's School of Medicine) and a few others. Surprisingly, however, the medical case of Khomeini has never been discussed anywhere. It has never been put forward for scientific discussion in any conference or seminar. What type of cancer was Khomeini suffering from? According to the most referred account, he died of prostate cancer (another account says he died of heart attack after the operation). But let's not forget that Khomeini was under constant medical examination, so it could be easily detected and treated before getting to a stage that its spread would get out of control.
Why would someone from Khomeini's few confidantes want to kill him? What happened to those who knew about the plot for killing the Ayatollah? Did Khamnei know about the plot? Why didn't he say anything about it then? Does he fear his own life now? What is Rafsanjani's serious concern these days?
I will answer these questions in my future postings.