Supreme Leader’s Representative to the Revolutionary Guards’ Interview with Reformist daily

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Ali Saedi, the Supreme Leader’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards, in an exclusive interview with the Reformist daily Etemaad has said of the President, “we didn’t have occult foreknowledge to know what is going through the mind of Mr. Ahmadinejad and in the future what he will want to do ”. The interview is fairly long, but several key comments are highlighted.

“Incidentally, I told Ahmadinejad his problem to his face. I told him you could have become an historic hero of the nation of Iran, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. It doesn’t get any worse than you turning all the people who were your supporters into your opponents”.

“The problem here is that the presidents misapprehend their role and place for leadership of the regime”.

“We approved of Ahmadinejad while he acted in accordance with the accepted standards and conditions of the regime.”

“The Leader was positively disposed towards the slogans of Mr. Ahmadinejad. If it was not such he wouldn’t have supported Ahmadinejad in the presidential election”.

“I don’t know what this damnable thing [relations with the U.S.] is that the gentlemen want to put its medal around their necks. I now really don’t know what goes through the mind of Ahmadinejad that he puts forth the debate of relations with America”.

“A fundamental thinking for the Majles, [Assembly of] Experts, Councils and Presidency, must occur”.

“The slogans that [Ahmadinejad] now proclaims differ from his past slogans”.

“There are individuals that when they see they have a measure of support behind them, imagine that their support was independent. This individual [i.e. Ahmadinejad] when he sees some support for himself, he thinks his legitimacy is from the votes of the people while it was the Supreme Leader who approves the votes of the people and appoints the president. If there is not this approval and appointment, a flaw in the legitimacy of the president will come into existence”.

Domestic Affairs

Tehran Friday Prayer Leader, Kazem Sediqi has deemed the buying and selling of currency and gold under the present conditions to be religiously unlawful or haram. Yesterday at a ceremony at Tehran bazaar’s mosque, he stated, “today the buying and selling of currency and gold from greed and rapacity, in circumstances where sanctions want to create problems for us is haram and unlawful”.

The conservative website Alef, close to parliamentarian Ahmad Tavvakoli, one of President Ahmadinejad severest critics on the economy, has said that the president must “apologise” to Iranians for the 251% increase in food prices over the last 7 years.

In reply to the Principalist chief in the Majles, Gholamali Haddad Adel’s expression of disagreement with questioning the parliamentary questioning of President Ahmadinejad, maverick Principalist MP Ali Motahhari, has stated, “of course Mr. Haddad disagrees with questioning and it is natural that he says so, but incidentally the previous time was very useful and that the president was summoned and forced to be answerable for issue was good and while he did not comply in some instances, on the whole I believe that the experience of questioning was also useful for the Majles and country”.

Motahhari is also reported as saying in the same interview with Khaneh-ye mellat  that there is a “strong probability” that MPs will impeach Ahmadinejad if he “ridicules” the Majles when questioned.

The Judiciary Spokesman, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhei, has called President Ahmadinejad’s request to visit Evin Prison, a “secondary issue”. Instead, he said the government should focus on solving the country’s economic problems. Last month the President’s press advisor, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, was jailed and is currently detained at Evin.

Aftab News, sympathetic to former president Rafsanjani, carries the comments of economist Hossein Raqfar, in which he claims absolute poverty encompasses 25-32% of the Iranian population. He also claims that absolute poverty has increased by 2% annually over the course of the last three years of the Ahmadinejad presidency.

Foreign Affairs

Iran’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Qazanfar Rokn Abadi, has claimed in an interview with Mehr News that as a result of Hezbollah’s drone, Israeli emigration has increased.

Ali Baqeri, Deputy chief of the Supreme National Security Council, speaking  at a gathering at the Tehran University Law Faculty, has said that his EU counterpart Helga Schmid phoned him today and that they are due to dialogue by phone tomorrow. He also reiterated the previous comments of the Supreme Leader in northern Khorasan last week, stating that Iran “has not abandoned negotiations to return [to the negotiating table]”.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, has denied the New York Times report claiming that Iran and the U.S. have agreed to one-on-one negotiations regarding Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.