Rafsanjani undecided about Experts Assembly election
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has not made up his mind about his candidacy in the election for Experts Assembly’s chairmanship on March 10.
Hojjatoleslam Teimour Ali-Asgari, Rafsanjani’s parliamentary advisor, told Tasnim News Agency that the senior cleric is undecided about nominating himself for the assembly’s election.
He stated that Rafsanjani’s candidacy will depend on who participates in the poll.
A few months ago, Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami, an ultraconservative cleric, claimed that Rafsanjani is reluctant to take the helm of the body, which is tasked with selecting Iran’s Leader and monitoring his performance.
Following the remarks, the Expediency Council, chaired by Rafsanjani, rejected Khatami’s statements, stressing that the two-time Iranian president (1989-97) would run for the top portfolio if “less qualified” figures nominate themselves.
Rafsanjani, who had chaired the Experts Assembly since 2006, refused to nominate himself in the March 2011 election due to the pressure of hardliners.
Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi-Kani was elected as Rafsanjani‘s successor, but passed away on October 21, 2014, following a massive heart attack.
Since the body holds biannual meetings, the new chair will be elected in the next session slated for Tuesday.
Khavari remains elusive
A senior police official said Iran has made futile attempts to extradite the former managing director of the state-run Bank Melli Iran from Canada.
Mahmoud Khavari, who was charged with committing a huge financial fraud, fled to Canada in September 2011 before he could be arrested, the Persian daily ‘Iran’ reported.
General Masoud Rezvani, chief of Iran's branch of Interpol, said on Wednesday the Canadian police have been informed about Khavari’s charges, but they have declared that his arrest falls under the jurisdiction of the country’s judicial system.
Canada has refused to extradite the fugitive ex-official accused of involvement in Iran’s biggest fraud case since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Tehran informal settlements up 17-fold
A lawmaker said informal settlements near the Iranian capital, Tehran, show a 17-fold increase over the past three decades.
Alireza Mahjoub also told the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency that the settlements have created major problems.
Mahjoub said drug addiction, cultural poverty, misdemeanors and social ills pervade these marginalized areas.
“Unless serious measures are taken, such a situation will wreak havoc on the society,” he said.
Over 91,000 brawls reported in Tehran
Brawls dragged 91,288 residents of the Iranian capital, Tehran, to the provincial forensic organization in the ten months ending January 20, up by 9.1 percent year-on-year.
Of the total complaints lodged in the period, 60,191 and 31,097 cases pertained to men and women respectively, IRNA cited a report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization.
During the corresponding period of last year, 89,561 brawls were handled by the organization. Men filed 59,175 complaints and women 30,386 in the period.
Young nurse dies in ambulance crash
A female nurse returning from a mission died when the ambulance crashed and caught fire.
The tragic incident took place in the early hours of March 5 after the private-owned ambulance delivered a patient to a hospital in the northern city of Lahijan in Gilan province, YJC reported.
The nurse reportedly got stuck in the vehicle and fell victim to the flames.
Provincial officials said the drowsy driver may have caused the fatal incident.
Health Minister Seyyed Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi extended condolences to the family of the married 30-year-old victim who was survived by a child.