A Blog Written By Roozbeh Mirebrahimi
Former president Hashemi Rafsanjani joined the long list of “banned” authors after the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance confiscated and collected from bookstores the latest installment of his multi-volume memoir, entitled “Towards Fate.”
Since yesterday, various news agencies released unofficial reports about the book’s suspension. The Ministry of Culture denied the accusation, but said in a statement that the book will notbe published until an acknowledgement is received from the book’s publisher, the Institute for the Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works. In an unprecedented move, a publishing official asked Ayatollahs Khameni and Mousavi Ardebili along with Mir Hossein Mousavi to confirm the content of Rafsanjani’s memoir.
The controversy began when hardliner Kayhan’s editor, Hossein Shariatmadi, launched a relentless attack against Hashemi Rafsanjani. Suspension rumors were confirmed after a website close to the administration, Raja News, released a report confirming the suspension of Rafsanjani’s memoir.
Raja News wrote, “In ‘Towards Fate,’ which was published without an official permit from the Institute for the Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works, Hashemi Rafsanjani quotes Imam Khomeini several times. A decision has been made to stop the book’s publication and distribution.”
According to Raja News, “The decision will be implemented following the book’s initial publication, because the law makes it clear that any quotes referenced to Imam Khomeini or the supreme leader must be verified prior to publication, by either the Institute for the Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works or the Center for the Complication and Publication of Supreme Leader’s Works.”
Raja News continues, “As such, the publication of this memoir was ‘illegal’ or ‘beyond law’ in the first place.” Fars News Agency confirmed Raja News by quoting a Ministry of Culture official: “The book ‘Towards Fate’ will not be published unless a verification is received from the Institute for the Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works.”
In a related development, Mir Shekari, who works at the Institute for the Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works, told the Mehr News Agency, “The content of this book is very sensitive, so the supreme leader, Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili, and Mir Hossein Mousavi must share their opinion about it.”
The memoir’s most controversial part is a quote on page 173 where Rafsanjani writes: “An MP suggested quitting the slogan ‘Death to America and USSR.’ I said, ‘we have already made that decision and Imam [Khomeini] supports it as well. We are waiting for the proper time.’”