Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani urged Iranian officials on Tuesday against dismissing international sanctions as "jokes," saying the Islamic republic was facing its worst ever "assault" from the global community. "Throughout the revolution, we never had so many sanctions (imposed on Iran) and I am calling on you and all officials to take the sanctions seriously and not as jokes," the ILNA news agency quoted Rafsanjani as telling the six-monthly meeting of the Assembly of Experts, which supervises the work of Iran's supreme leader. The influential cleric, who heads the assembly and who is now seen as an opposition supporter, said Iran has never been in such a situation since the 1979 Islamic revolution, with "some states acting against" the Islamic republic and "some activating countries around us (to act) against" it. "Over the past 30 years we had a war and military threats, but never have we seen such arrogance to plan a calculated assault against us," Rafsanjani was quoted as saying in a separate report on the state television's website.