Revolutionary Guards’ Chief dismisses prospect of military attack

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Revolutionary Guards Chief, Mohammad Ali Jafari, has stated in a meeting with a reported 20,000 members of the Alborz Basij that “a military attack against Iran isn’t underway”, calling such threats “hollow” and “empty”. He added, “When the leaders of the regime occupying Jerusalem speak of an attack on Iran, immediately the leaders in the White House object to it and say we will not support a military attack on Iran”.

This statement is clearly Jafari’s attempt to moderate his alarmist comments last week in which said “we must all prepare for war”.

Jafari also exhorted the authorities to ensure the “complete remedy of economic threats and make more effort so that the people aren’t embroiled in difficulties”.

Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a meeting with former technocrats of Mazandaran province has claimed that the present inactivity of the country’s experienced managers and clergymen sympathetic to the regime is the result of the efforts of “deviants” and “pseudo-revolutionary devils” for the exclusion of two groups, the technocrats and clergy, from the political scene.

Rafsanjani has traditionally seen his constituency as that of the Kargozaran, or technocratic executives, and during his own presidency sought to draw on their expertise in order to spur the country’s economic progress and development. Whether he was successful in this aspiration, or his rhetoric matched his deeds is another question, but in attending such a meeting it can be said that the president is amongst potentially sympathetic ears, who have most likely been highly critical of Ahmadinejad’s populistic managerial style.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, prior to leaving New York for the attendance of the 67th meeting of the UN General Assembly, has claimed that while on his trip he has secured investment for Iran.  The president also added that an interests section in Canada would be established soon.

IRNA reports President Ahmadinejad’s “severe regret” at the arrest of his press advisor and head of the Islamic Republic News Agency, Ali Akbar Javanfekr. Ahmadinejad also said he would pursue the matter further.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office has repudiated “exaggerating” depictions of the Supreme Leader which have in recent years become commonplace amongst radical elements inside the country. Perhaps the most well-known incident is when Qom’s Friday Prayer Leader, Ayatollah Mohammad Saeedi, claimed that upon his birth Khamenei proclaimed “Oh Ali” [a reference to the first Shi’i Imam] in the presence of the midwife tending to him and his mother. This was initially rebutted  as “nonsense” by former parliamentary Speaker, Ali Akbar Nateq Nuri, who also happens to be the Chief of the Inspectorate of Khamenei’s office. Radical elements around Commander Qassem Saeedi, a member of the Endurance Front for the Islamic Revolution, however, in reaction to Nateq Nuri’s criticism, stormed a speech by the latter in Mashhad during the month of Ramadan, throwing it into disarray. In reaction to these events it seems Khamenei’s office has taken a somewhat firmer stand on the matter.

Secretary of the Expediency Council, Mohsen Rezaei, has lamented ongoing factional infighting and the tendency amongst the Principalist elite to “collate files” against one another. “Unfortunately we are witness to disagreement and quarrelling from the lowest level of society which is the family to the highest levels of the regime and every day we are witness to the different collating of files [against one another]. If this state continues there isn’t much hope for the people’s economic future”.

Mostafa Pourmohammadi, Chief of the Inspectorate Organization of the Country, in response to allegations of embezzlement during the time he was Interior Minister in the previous Ahmadinejad government, has stated that the 21 billion toman loan was used to provide homes to deprived staff of the ministry. Mutual allegations of corruption have been rife between Pourmohammadi and First Vice President, Mohammadreza Rahimi for some weeks now, and appear to being further fuelled by an intense personal animus between the two.

Foreign Affairs

Khabar Online, close to Parliamentary Speaker, Ali Larijani, objects to Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi’s use (again) of the “false term” “Arabian Gulf” in his UN General Assembly address.  The article then citing another news site Asr-e Iran goes on to contrast Morsi’s use of the term with a 1956 speech by Arab nationalist leader and former Egyptian president, Gamel Abdel Nasser, where Nasser had actually used the term “Persian Gulf”.

The article goes on, “Morsi used this false term “Arabian Gulf” which has a life of less half a century while the historical and correct name of this international waterway from thousands of years ago was the “Persian Gulf” and still today its official and international name is the “Persian Gulf”. The President of Egypt prior to this, in his speech at the Arab League used the false term “Arabian Gulf” instead of Persian Gulf. He welcomed the decision of Saudi Arabia and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council to provide financial aid to Yemen and added, “Egypt as always stands by the side of the countries of the “Arabian” Gulf and doesn’t accept any kind of effort to interfere in the countries of the region. We will always stand by our brothers in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries and will not hold back on any efforts to guarantee their security”.

The article then finishes with a not so subtle swipe at the government, “the use by Morsi of this false term occurs while the Iranian authorities label his 4 hour visit to Tehran during the Non-Aligned Movement Summit a sign of close relations”.

Raja News reports on the West’s “horror” at the spread of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s picture throughout Iraq. The article is itself a reaction to an Associated Press article and feature on BBC Persian which covered the dissemination of a poster throughout Baghdad for Jerusalem Day in which Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, the father of firebrand cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, and Khamenei are pictured side by side.

Image: Fars News