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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Senior government officials slamming Ahmadinejad

Senior Iranian officials have been taking potshots at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad due to his dispute with Ayatollah Ali Khameni.
Even though President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad returned to work after a ten-day absence, criticism of him by senior officials and influential figures who support Ayatollah Khamenei continued unabated -- as did the campaign to assert the Supreme Leader's absolute authority on the hearts and minds of the Iranian people. While most do not name Ahmadinejad, it is clear he is the target:

In a ceremony commemorating the war martyrs of the Province of Fars in southern Iran, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the top commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), said, "After 33 years [since the Revolution] the people of Iran will not tolerate any deviations [from the revolutionary path]. We should be aware that, in addition to foreign evils, internal evils have also been organized to defeat the Revolution. Deviations from the Islamic Republic -- which is natural -- sometimes occurs in foreign policy, sometimes against people's resistance, sometimes in economic affairs, but most importantly against the main pillar of the political system, Velaayat-e Faghih. Without Velaayat-e Faghih the Islamic Republic is similar to the rest of republics in the region that also claim to be Islamic republics. To remain in the revolutionary path is to obey the Faghih [the Supreme Leader]. Anyone who stands against the Faghih, has undoubtedly not understood the meaning of the Islamic Revolution. Anyone who prefers his own views over those of the Faghih has violated the constitution."

Kazem Sadighi, leader (or Imam) of Tehran's Friday prayers, said, "His excellency, Ayatollah Khamenei is in the 'control tower' and monitors anything that may be against the interests of the society. He does not want anything for himself. Monitoring the President is that control tower... The relation between the President and the Leader is not one between father and son, because the President is a soldier of Velaayat-e Faghih and obeying him is a must. The President has said the same, but words are not the criterion, we are awaiting action [by the President]." Kayhan, the mouthpiece of part of the security/intelligence forces, used this quote as its banner headline on Sunday, May 8. Sadighi also said, "A war cannot have two commanders."

Kayhan also warned Ahmadinejad about those who have supposedly penetrated his government. In an editorial Mehdi Mohammadi warned that, "The pious and revolutionary people of Iran have been concerned over the last several days that there is a hand within the government that is trying to replace the Islamic values, for which people support the government, with fake principles and values." He warned that, "those who consider themselves close to the President," want to promote "liberalism, nationalism, opposition to Islamic values and symbols, establishing good relations with foreigners, and in summary, distancing [themselves] from the values of the Islamic Revolution."

Kayhan has also reported extensively about the financial dealings of Mashaei, Hamid Baghaei [another Ahmadinejad aide] and Mehdi Jahangiri, a close aide to Mashaei.


In order to prevent the founding of a new Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, as approved by the Majles, Ahmadinejad had said that he would write a letter to Khamenei and apparently ask him to side with him. But on Saturday, Lotfollah Forouzandeh, a spokesman for the government, said that Ahmadinejad is moving ahead with plans to establish the new ministry. It is not yet clear whether the letter was sent to Khamenei and turned down, or whether Ahmadinejad decided that under the present conditions writing the letter was useless. He could have also decided not to send the letter to demonstrate his independence from Khamenei.

Saham News, the website that reflects the views of Mehdi Karroubi and his National Trust Party, reported a clash between supporters of Ahmadinejad and Khamenei near the annual book fair exhibition hall. They attacked each other with belts and other items, causing many injuries, according to the report, and cursed at each other using extremely profane language. Police reportedly stood aside and watched. Most of the clashes occurred at the subway station exit next to the exhibition. When a reporter said to the police sarcastically that, "You have made a great effort [to separate the two sides]," a policeman responded, "What are we supposed to do?"

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