Former Iranian president Rafsanjani urges Govt. not to take international sanctions as a "joke"

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Tehran, Sept 15 (ANI): Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has criticised the government for not adhering to the Islamic Republic's laws and urged it not to take international sanctions as "joke" as the Islamic republic is facing its worst ever assault from the global community.

"We have never been faced with so many sanctions. I would like to ask you and all the country's officials to take the sanctions seriously and not as a joke," The Washington Post quoted Rafsanjani, as saying at a meeting of an influential clerical council.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his supporters have been under increasing pressure from multiple power centers in Iran, including influential clerics and even some of the president's own ministers, which have led to political tensions and a crisis atmosphere in the country.

Earlier, the government said the sanctions stemming from Iran's controversial nuclear program have strengthened the Islamic Republic. Ahmadinejad has called them "pathetic" and less effective than "a used handkerchief."

Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad have long been rivals, and Rafsanjani was considered a behind-the-scenes force in the Green Movement that challenged the government after last year's disputed elections. (ANI)

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