Shabake-ye Iran which is tied to the government affiliated Iran Newspaper has criticized a number of high ranking members of the Revolutionary Guard and their criticisms of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, going as far as to say, “perhaps Iran is the only country where some of its military servicemen up to this level, at any moment they desire, can attack the highest office [i.e. the presidency]”.
The article also complains of the lack of oversight vis-à-vis the political manoeuvring of the Revolutionary Guards, even frontally attacking Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards, Hojjat al-Islam Ali Saeidi:
“Apparently the investigator in the Revolutionary Guards is the person of Hojjat al-Islam Saeidi, but his position is clear. Perhaps Mr. Saeidi needs at times an investigator himself”.
Over the last year Ahmadinejad’s relations with a section of the Revolutionary Guards has noticeably deteriorated, to some extent paralleling the president’s uneasy relationship with Iran’s Supreme Leader. As a result some frank criticism and jibes being exchanged between the two.
Shabake-ye Iran also claimed that the previous Political Deputy of the Revolutionary Guards, Ali Ashraf Nuri, was cast aside because of his “moderate” positions regarding the government. His successor by contrast, Commander Rasul Sanai Rad, is a known critic of President Ahmadinejad and the incumbent government. It has been implied on numerous occasions by government affiliated outlets that his appointment was political in nature.
The Chairman of the Islamic Society of Guilds and the Bazaar, Ahmad Karimi Isfahani, has said that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “never was the candidate of the Principalists and was imposed on them”.
He added, “deviation takes place when someone insults the Grand Ayatollahs and doesn’t take their position into consideration or when he throws into question important clergymen like Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani and Nateq Nouri, or when he shows a picture of the wife of one candidate [he is referring to Ahmadinejad’s display of Mir Hossein Mousavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard, in the course of their presidential election debate in 2009], or is indifferent to the laws of the legislative body, when he must be the executor of these laws”.
Regarding Ahmadinejad’s recent letter to the Supreme Leader in the aftermath of the president’s public row with the Majles Speaker, Ali Larijani, Karimi stated, “the level of his esteem for [Esfandiar Rahim] Mashaei remains unshaken”.
In a course of a meeting with the Revolutionary Guards’ naval forces, Revolutionary Guards’ chief, Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari stated, “we must in every position that we have in the Guards, pursue the best method and resources for being watchful. Today the Leader of the Muslims [i.e. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei], wants us to perform a more active and precise and intelligent role than any other time”.
Mohammad Hossein Saffari Harandi, former Minister Culture and Islamic Guidance in the Ahmadinejad government and cultural advisor to the Revolutionary Guards, has claimed that electoral turnout in the next presidential election will be 70% and that he must not be someone who will “circumvent” Iran’s Supreme Leader.
“According to opinion polls up to now the participation of the people in the election has been estimated to be 50%. But it is predicted the closer it we get to the election this amount will increase and reach above 70%”.
The future president, he added, “must be transparent with the Leader of the Revolution, not say one thing and in practice behave another way and circumvent the Leader of the Revolution”.
Serat News reports on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s controversial ally, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei’s presence and meeting with the Swedish Deputy Foreign Minister, alongside the president. It has been long speculated that Mashaei is Ahmadinejad’s favoured candidate for the presidency and his appearance at numerous high profile meetings with foreign leaders has not gone unnoticed. Mashaei who was recently appointed as Chief of the Secretariat to the Non-Aligned Movement has become a regular fixture along the president in the course of the latter’s meetings with foreign dignitaries.
Serat quotes Davud Ahmadinejad, the president’s brother, on Mashaei’s recent appointment as stating, “the transfer of this person was not wanted by the Supreme Leader, but they wanted a legal position for him [i.e. Mashaei] so he could comfortably travel abroad and have in his control the resources of the Iranian embassies abroad”.
Bultan News posts a picture of Hojjat al-Islam Mostafa Khamenei, the eldest son of Supreme Leader Khamenei and son-in-law to the late Ayatollah Khoshvaght, over whose funeral Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei presided.
Images via Serat News and Bultan News