Khamenei Wants Apology From Those Claiming Fraud in 2009 Elections

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In a speech to a crowd of university students today, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei discussed the protests of the 2009 elections, his fears about what those protests could have led to and questioned why those who claimed that fraud was committed have not yet apologized.

“I ask our dear students and those with differing views,” Khamenei said, “to not allow differences of analysis and interpretations to lead to spite and enmities.” He continued, “As Ayatollah Khomeini recommended, be like seminary students that, even when the discussion becomes serious, they remain friends and stay together.”

Khamenei said the 2009 election protests, which the Iranian authorities refer to as the “sedition of 2009,” were an example of such a “serious discussion.” He said, “In investigating that bitter event, the main and primary issue was the breaking of the law and the indecent behavior of those who stood against the law and caused damage and injury to Iran.”

The 2009 election protests were the largest protests in Iran since the 1979 revolution. Dozens were killed and reports of rape and torture surfaced as well. The two presidential candidates who contested that election, along with many other activists and journalists, are still imprisoned as a result of their activities before and after the election.

While Khamenei admitted that certain injuries and violations may have taken place, they should not overshadow the larger event. “However, in the margins and corners of such a large event,” Khamenei said, “issues could have occurred that someone could be oppressed or someone becomes the oppressor, but the main issue must not get lost because of this.”

On why those who claimed fraud in the 2009 election took to the streets, Khamenei said, “Time and time again we presented this question, not in public but in way that it could be answered [personally]. Then why don’t you answer, why don’t you apologize?” He continued, “In private meetings, they say there was no fraud. Then why did you cause such damage to the country and take the country to the precipice?”

In comparison to the uprisings across the Middle East, and perhaps in his most revealing statements as to how terrified the authorities were by not only the 2009 protests but what else they could have led to, Khamenei said, “Do you know that if God did not help during the sedition of 2009, and different groups of people had turned on one another, what would have befallen the country? Of course, God did not allow it, and the people used wisdom.”

Rouhani Cabinet Leaked

The names of Rouhani’s cabinet members has been leaked to Mehr News. They are not confirmed and could be subject to last-minute changes, and will need parliamentary approval. It is generally understood that many of the top cabinet positions, such as the ministers of oil, intelligence, defense and the head of the National Security Council, will be coordinated with the approval of the supreme leader’s office. As expected, capable technocrats from former president Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s cabinet will be instrumental in economic matters. There is one woman on the list.

Vice President: Eshag Jahangiri

Interior Minister: Abudlreza Rahman Fazli

Minister of Oil: Bijan Zanganeh

Minister of Intelligence: Hojat al-Islam Mohsen Qomi

Economic Minister: Ali Teyebnia

Foreign Minister – Mohammad Javad Zarif

Culture Minister: Ali Jannati

Minister of Industry and Trade: Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh

Minister of Defense: Ahmad Vahidi (current)

Chief of Staff: Hossein Fereydoun

Chief of Planning and Management Organization: Mohammad Bagher Nobakht

Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council: Mohammad Forouzandeh

Chief of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran: Mahmoud Vaezi

Senior Adviser: Akbar Torkan

Chief of Central Bank: Saeed Ghassemi

Chief of Women’s Affairs: Parvin Dadanadish

Head of Islamic Republic News Agency: Babak Darbeyki