Former Iranian Intelligence Minister Haydar Muslihi said Monday that he blocked former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from becoming president in 2013.
Muslihi, whose remarks came in a video interview shared on social media, said he submitted a report in 2013 to Iran’s top vetting body, the Guardian Council, in which he projected Rafsanjani to win the polls if allowed to vie for the presidency, which he noted would not have been in the interests of the regime.
"I detailed in two pages the pros and cons of approving Rafsanjani's candidacy,” said Muslihi, who was the intelligence minister during the presidency of Mahmud Ahmadinejad.
“I did this based on the interests of the regime. I drew attention to the costs based on the protection of the regime. I came to the conclusion that vetoing his candidacy would be in the interests of the regime. I also listed the evidence. I also attended the Guardian Council meetings and I told them what I had reached.”
Rafsanjani, who died in January 2017 at the age of 82, was the president of Iran between 1989-1997.
Rafsanjani was among the leaders of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran. He was at odds with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei over the country’s international relations.