In his first public reaction on Saturday to his surprise defeat to the ultra-conservative Tehran mayorm Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rafsanjani alleged "all the means of the regime were used in an organised and illegal way to intervene in the election".

  

"I do not intend to file a complaint to jurists who have shown  that they cannot or do not want to do anything. This I will leave to God," he was quoted as saying by the Iranian news agency, ISNA.

  

It was a clear reference to the Guardians Council, a conservatives-controlled political and electoral watchdog.

 

Uncertain future

  

"I entered this election uniquely to serve the revolution, Islam, Iran and the people," said the 70-year-old cleric, a veteran and former two-term president who is now facing an uncertain political future.

  

"Those who weakened a competitor chose to weaken the revolution," Rafsanjani said, also condemning "those who spent hundreds of billions of rials (tens of millions of dollars) of the people's money to defame me and my family."

  

"I hope the country will be cleared of these enemies and profiteers who are without logic or faith," the statement said.

  

Rafsanjani nevertheless said that "everyone must help" president-elect Ahmadinejad.