An Iranian pro-reform website is reporting that former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has strongly criticized the policies of the country's ruling clerical establishment, days after a constitutional watchdog disqualified him from running in the June 14 elections.

An Iranian pro-reform website is reporting that former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has strongly criticized the policies of the country’s ruling clerical establishment, days after a constitutional watchdog disqualified him from running in the June 14 elections.

“I think it is not possible to run the country worse than this,” Jaheshnews.ir quoted him as saying late Wednesday in reaction to his Tuesday disqualification by the hard-line Guardian Council.

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.

Rafsanjani, a centrist, had revitalized reformist hopes. His campaign manager says he will not protest the disqualification.