Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has strongly criticised the policies of the country's ruling clerical establishment, days after a constitutional watchdog banned him from running in the June 14 elections.
"I think it is not possible to run the country worse than this," pro-reform website Jaheshnews.ir quoted him as saying in reaction to his disqualification on Tuesday by the hard-line Guardian Council.
Mr Rafsanjani has not made any direct public statements since the decision. The quote was not carried on his official website, and the report could not independently verified.
Mr Rafsanjani, a centrist, had revitalised reformist hopes. His campaign manager says he will not protest over the disqualification.