During a speech at the opening ceremony of the fifteenth gathering of the Justice and Freedom Congress of Islamic Iran on April 26, Hashemi Rafsajnai, the Chairman of the Expediency Council, stated that there are no real political parties in the country, but belief in the formation of such entities is prevalent.
“Despite all the trials and errors, we hope to reach a point within our society that would allow political parties to function,” Rafsanajni added.
Formed in 1997 as the Solidarity Association of Followers of Imam’s Path, the organization is the first reformist faction created under the auspices of Khatami’s reformist presidency. Based in Isfahan, the organization changed its name to Justice and Freedom Congress of Islamic Iran in 1999.
“Modern political schools of thought divide political parties based on their executive ideologies on how to run a society – based on people’s votes and the concept of majority rule. They view it as an achievement of modern civilization. However, the reality is that such ideas were formed during the advent of Islam. The Prophet [Muhammad], by relying on the Quran…used the word faction [party] first,” Rafsanjani said.
The Chairman of the Expediency Council stated that Iran’s Constitution has emphasized the importance of party plurality.
“Approved by Ayatollah Khomeini and the people, the constitution clearly emphasizes party diversity, which paved the way for the formation of small and big factions with different opinions. There are no real political parties in Iran, however the belief in party formation is prevalent,” Rafsanjani concluded.