Khamenei’s representative in IRGC rejects the Islam of the Taliban and Turkey’s Erdogan

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Hojjat al-Islam Ali Saeidi, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards,said  in a speech delivered in the southern city of Bushehr: “We have several kinds of readiness for the reappearance of the Hidden Imam, such as individual and social readiness which does not instigate [his reappearance], individual readiness which does instigate [his reappearance] and a third kind of readiness which helps create the government of the Hidden Imam before his return … Before the reappearance of the Hidden Imam we needed a Mahdist government and the Islamic Revolution of Iran was on the course [set down by] the Hidden Imam.”

“The fourth kind of readiness is the change in the Middle East for the reappearance of the Hidden Imam and until a time when change [still] doesn’t encompass the whole of the Middle East, the Hidden Imam will not reappear.”

“The people of America must understand that their problem is their apostate and idolatrous leaders and they must know the Democratic and Republican Party and European Union will not heal any pains and will ultimately reach a dead end.”

Saeidi also invoked the name of Turkish Prime Minsiter Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stating that “the Islam of the Taliban and Al Qaeda has created problems for Islam [as has the] truncated and secular Islam of the kind [advocated] by Erdogan … We have stood against the Taliban and secular Islam; we introduce pure Islam to the world.”

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Intelligence Ministry Claims Arrested Journalists Linked to British Government

The Ministry of Intelligence has released a statement in connection with the recent arrests of in excess of ten journalists from a number of different Iranian newspapers and news outlets, claiming to have arrested “agents of a media network dependent on England”.

“This network was managed by means of the Organization for Psychological Operations of the Government of England, known as the BBC and benefiting from the experience of the events of the sedition of 2009 [i.e. the unrest which followed the 2009 presidential election] and the cooperation of a number of western governments. Because of the number of layers, breadth, use of special communication tools and methods for sending news and receiving directives from foreign agents, they were under the watch and pursued by the nameless soldiers of the 12th Imam [namely agents of the Intelligence Ministry], until ultimately with the completion of the process of uncovering the domestic agents, agents established outside the country, the gathering of information and preparation of necessary judicial documentation, they were made subject to legal action. In this respect a number of items will be noted:

1)      For the reason of the special sensitivity of the case and numerous considerations relating to [issues of] information, security, and the law, the information gathered regarding the relations of the arrested individuals with the network of psychological-governmental operations of England, were completely documented and sound. Apart from the confessions of the accused, [the aforementioned] indicates [the network] is the kind and nature of media organization of the foreigners.

2)      Because of the number of elements connected with this network (inside and outside the country) and with a view to the extant differences in the type and level of contact of the elements under watch with the said network and presented information and probable unawareness of a number of those linked to the foreign source of the network, during the ongoing research in the days ahead, it is possible a number of those connected to the network will be summoned and arrested and a number of the previously arrested will be released. Because it can be assured this process will continue until the last individual attached to this network is found and the controversies of the psychological war machine of the media of arrogance and so-called human rights organizations attached to that base, and the abundance of fabricated and ad hoc organizations, will not have the least effect on the will of the nameless soldiers of the 12th Imam and the current process of measures [being taken].”

In other news

Asadollah Badamchian, a central member of the Front of Disciples for the Line of the Imam and Leadership, has told Tasnim news agency, that it is preparing to introduce a team of nine persons into the electoral race, and that amongst this nine, one will be chosen to run as the presidential candidate on behalf of the Front.

Masoud Alavian, the Deputy for Cultural Heritage has announced that the location of an attempted assassination against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will become a recorded national heritage site. Khamenei had been the object of a failed assassination attempt in June 1981, and while he survived, he lost the function of right hand.

The sites of the assassinations of a number of Iran’s nuclear scientists are also under review as possible national heritage sites.

As covered by Laura Rozen on Al-Monitor’s The Back Channel, the website Baztab-e emruz posted an article (which has since been removed) addressing inter-elite disagreements over the handling of Iran’s nuclear negotiations with the P5+1. The article is entitled, “Brothers, the nuclear negotiations hold the fate of 75 million people, they’re not work experience”.

Below are some translated excerpts:

“[T]he direct criticisms of Manuchehr Motakki with respect to the actions of the nuclear negotiating team, shows the points of consensus amongst experts, and also touches on the thoughts of some of the politicians in the official sphere”.

“The criticism of Motakki regards some of the recommendations of the nuclear negotiating team, about the direct broadcast of negotiations and the emphasis on obtaining new locations for the negotiations. But it seems the problems of the negotiating team far surpasses these two problems”.

“At a time when one of the young writers of Keyhan newspaper who doesn’t have minimal experience and expertise in diplomacy and international relations, has been transformed into the theoretician of the nuclear negotiations and moreover strives to be a continuous presence as the face of the Islamic Republic and “the key member of the negotiating team” in interviews with foreign publications and putting forward strange preconditions, what expectation can be had from the negotiations?”

“The successive changes in the location of the negotiations and their transfer from Geneva, to Istanbul, Baghdad, Moscow and now the plan for Cairo, which is itself the centre of internal crisis and entanglement, takes place with what logic?”

“Is the principle of obtaining results and solving the problem of 75 million Iranians or globe trotting and entering third party countries under discussion?”

“It seems with respect to the will of the regime for controlling the effects of sanctions on the economy of the country and the reduction of economic damage, those responsible for negotiating must improve their methods, so that the benefit of these successive negotiations accrue to the country and perhaps choose a fixed location for negotiations in a non-partisan country, like Switzerland or by rotation in several countries and permanently solve the marginal issue of the negotiations’ location and prepare the way for addressing the core of the issue and solving the country’s problem”.

 

Head of Majles Foreign Policy Commission: America has been defeated in Syria

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of the Majles’ Commission for Foreign Policy and National Security, in conversation with Khane-ye mellat, the Majles’ new agency, has said: “The changes in Syria are one of the most important links in the chain of repeated defeats of America in the region.”

“With view to the fact that America is warmongering in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza, Syria was one very important link [in the chain]for the West, in particular America.”

“On the other hand, while America has not directly entered into the Syria debate, everyone knows that this country can use the resources of its European and regional allies, the billions of Saudi Arabia and Qatar and the resources of Turkey for changing the political structure of Syria. But in practice, after the passing of approximately two years since these events [began], today it can be said that America has been defeated in Syria.”

“Fortunately Bashar al-Assad as the legal president of Syria could with divine backing and the unceasing support of the countries of the resistance, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran and also countries such as Russia and China as the two permanent members of the Security Council, have defeated this American-Western front.”

Touting the “current successes of the Syrian army against the armed opposition,” Boroujerdi stated: “Today this issue has led to the approach of many countries, who previously believed in the overthrow of the political regime in Syria by military means, to change to political methods and negotiation, and this change of approach shows the defeat of American plans for changing the structure of the political regime in Syria.”

“With respect to the experience Lakhdar Brahimi enjoys [from his mediating role] in the crises in Afghanistan and Iraq, in the Syrian crisis, despite all the pressure from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, he has tried to act in a moderate fashion. The appropriate positions of Ebrahimi are clearly seen in the reports of the United Nations.”

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Supreme Leader’s Representative in IRGC Endorses Fars News

Hojjat al-Islam Ali Saeidi, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards has praised Fars News, stating “it is bound by principled beliefs and professionalism”.

Saeidi made his comments in the course of an interview with journalists at Fars’ offices. In a meeting with Nezameddin Mousavi, the executive director of Fars News, Saeidi stated, “that which is very important for a news agency is the trust which readers have with respect to it. This returns to the strategy and operational guidelines and work practices of the media”.

Fars News is well-known amongst English speaking readers for a number of serious journalistic gaffs it has made in the past and which have been covered extensively in the Western media. The most recent being when Fars News‘ English language site plagiarised and took a story in the US based satirical site, The Onion, seriously and posted it on their site.

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What are the Endurance Front’s choices ahead of the presidential election?

Prominent Tehran MP, Ismail Kowsari, has made a number of interesting comments relating to the neoconservative group close to hardline Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi, the Endurance Front for the Islamic Revolution, and its relationship with the Ahmadinejad government, as reported by the Reformist daily, Etemaad.

“The Endurance Front have separated from the government and are now counted amongst those excluded from government. In truth, for those who toiled for the government, they expected the government to be the same government of 2005 [i.e., when Ahmadinejad was first elected into office]. In this regard I think it doubtful they will form a coalition with a candidate from the government.”

Kowsari also speculated on the Endurance Front’s possible backing of Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, saying, “it still is not clear whether Saeed Jalili will become a candidate in the election, so we can’t say whether the Endurance Front will support him or not.”

It had previously been speculated that the Endurance Front might back Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, who ran on the front’s list in the last Majles elections. He is both head of the Majles’ minority Principalist faction and a close ally and in-law of the Supreme Leader. But this week the head of Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi’s office, Hojjat al-Islam Jalili, made a number of highly critical statements vis-à-vis Haddad Adel. No doubt due to his formation of a coalition with Principalists, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and Ali Akbar Velayati, but also others such as Mostafa Pourmohammadi [a staunch Ahmadinejad government critic], who diverge from the Endurance Front on a number of issues and are generally seen as “moderate” by comparison. The comment which really stuck out was when Jalili forthrightly compared Haddad Adel to “edible and delicious water,” which had entered a “salty brook” and is as a result “useless.”

The chairman of the Endurance Front, Hojjat al-Islam Morteza Aqa-Tehrani, has also seemed to back off from previous comments that the Endurance Front would consider a coalition with Ahmadinejad’s favored candidate, stating, “what I said is clear, I said the engagement between the Majles and government is something on which [Ayatollah Khamenei] has spoken and he is still saying the same.” Aqa-Tehrani then named [Saeed] Jalili, [Parviz] Fattah and [Kamran Baqeri] Lankarani as prospective candidates the Endurance Front might put forward for the presidential contest.

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Head of Revolutionary Guards on Security and Energy in the Persian Gulf

Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, explaining the Guards’ role in the Persian Gulf stated: “The Guards are a pillar for securing stability and the movement of energy in the Persian Gulf”.

Jafari’s speech was delivered in the course of his visit to Guard military installations in the Strait of Hormuz, where he emphasized further, “this great defensive capacity can be developed in the path of securing national security and the defensive strategies of the regime…The Guards with its naval power as the bestower of order, is a lever of power in the Persian Gulf region, and pursues its obligations in the sphere of guarding the Islamic Revolution…Our defensive components in the sea are an assurance and deterrent and this power and assurance has always been guaranteed with the strengthening of spirituality in the Guards”.

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Former top nuclear negotiator set to run for the presidency?

Tasnim News has claimed that the candidacy of Hassan Rowhani in June’s presidential election has become “final.” Hassan Rowhani is a member of the Assembly of Experts, the Expediency Discernment Council and a member of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC). He was also formerly Iran’s top nuclear negotiator as head of the SNSC.

The conservative news outlet, Entekhab, also reported on the likelihood of Rowhani’s candidacy, saying, “this experienced political activist described as being in the Principalist circle, apart from attracting a large number of the Principalists, is also subject to serious support by Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani and the leaders of the Principalist Front”.

“He has a good image amongst foreign governments and most think [Rowhani] a very desirable and valuable choice for the Principalists, and even the Reformists.”

It should be noted that Rowhani has been especially vocal in recent weeks, not merely criticizing the Ahmadinejad government’s foreign policy, but also addressing domestic issues such as the high rate of youth unemployment in Iran’s cities.

In other news

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Iran’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission  told Khane-ye mellat, the Majles’ news agency that, “the Agency’s [International Atomic Energy Agency] exit from the Western puzzle is a condition for negotiations yielding results with Iran.”

Boroujerdi added, “For the Agency to take a step forward in the negotiations with Tehran, it must base its reports on a legal rather than political principle… The IAEA must in its negotiations with the Islamic Republic save itself from the political pressures of America and the West so that it can undertake its obligation to support countries which are members of the Agency.”

Gholam Hossein Esmaili, the chief of the Organization of Prisons, in conversation with the Islamic Republic News Agency, has claimed that “we do not have any religious or doctrinal prisoners”.

“Someone who perpetrates a crime, regardless of doctrinal inclination, or tribal [affiliation], is treated accordingly and in fact no one in the country is imprisoned for the beliefs they have or adhering to a particular religion…With the occurrence of a crime and treatment of a criminal, the law does not recognize Shia, Sunni or Bahai.”

With Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election as prime minister of Israel, the hard-line outlet Mashreq News reports on an article posted on Bloomberg by American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg [Mashreq doesn’t post the link to the original article], commenting on President Barack Obama’s strained relations with Netanyahu.

“It is reported that Barack Obama recently in a private conversation has said that Netanyahu doesn’t have the power to identify Israel’s interests and his actions will conclude in Israel’s severe international isolation.”

“According to Goldberg after the approval of Palestine’s observer-state status at the United Nations, Obama in a private gathering said, ‘Israel doesn’t know where its interests lie.’ He also said about Netanyahu’s decision to continue building settlements: Netanyahu is taking Israel in the direction of total isolation.”

“Obama believes if the small government of Israel in an unwelcoming region, loses its only friend and ally, America, it will be destroyed. Iran is a short-term threat for Israel, but the behaviour of the Israeli authorities threatens the government of Israel in the long term.”

IRGC commander: If we had killed Rushdie, insults against the Prophet wouldn’t have taken place

Cmdr. Ahmad Zolghadr, the deputy head of the Tehran Revolutionary Guards, has said in  a speech in Mashhad: “If we had acted on the fatwa of the late imam [Khomeini] and had killed Salam Rushdie, insult against the Prophet of Islam would not take place.”

[Apparently, he meant that subsequent perceived insults including films and cartoons, including the infamous Danish cartoon that led to violence, wouldn’t have been produced.}

The British-Indian writer, Salman Rushdie, famously penned a novel by the name of The Satanic Verses,  in reaction to which Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the then Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa in February 1989, shortly before his death, urging Muslims to execute the writer on charges of apostasy, stating that his murder was Islamically lawful or halal.

Even after Rushdie recanted and claimed he had returned to the fold of Islam, Khomeini refused to lift the order.

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Mashreq News claims Mossad and “Jewish Mafia” assassinated JFK

The ultra-hardline Mashreq News has a piece on the American Mafia claiming that the image of the criminal organization as one comprising “Italian criminals” from Sicily is at least in part a Hollywood concoction and that “at the apogee of the years of Mafia groups’ activities, the biggest and most mysterious American gangster was a Jewish Zionist.” The article then goes on to provide a “portrait” of famous “mob accountant” Meyer Lansky and the “Jewish Mafia” and make numerous strange and unsubstantiated claims drawing on marginal and dubious anti-Semitic literature.

The article then continues by describing Lansky as a “great defender of the formation of the government of Israel.” It also claims Lansky “performed an important role in the establishment of the country of Israel” and that he “was the Godfather of the modern government of Israel.”

The article even goes as far as to claim that Israel and the Mafia had “the most to gain” from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and that Israel’s relations with the Kennedy administration had been brought to a “dangerous dead end” over Israel’s “decision to produce a nuclear weapon” and that Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion left his post as prime minister over the impasse.

“Perhaps [Ben Gurion’s] last action as prime minister was to order Mossad to plan the assassination of John F. Kennedy.”

After making this allegation, the article states Lansky was also implicated in the conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy on the basis of a book by Michael Collins Piper, titled Final Judgement: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy.

An online search for the book in question shows it featured on a number of Aryan supremacist and anti-Semitic websites. The book was translated into Persian in 2008, and the article quotes Piper on a number of occasions from the Persian translation. At one point Piper is quoted as claiming, “Some rightly claim, if the Mafia killed John F. Kennedy, it couldn’t have done this without the prior knowledge and leadership of Meyer Lansky.”

Further research yields that Piper was invited to the infamous 2006 “Holocaust conference” at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s invitation.

Finally the article describes Lansky’s return to Israel in 1970, and his eventual extradition back to the United States to stand trial, though states he was later exonerated as a result of his “magical influence.”

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Revolutionary Guard Commander: “Free Elections” and the New Sedition?

Commander Yadollah Javani, one of the most vocal members of the Revolutionary Guards and a close ally of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has written the lead article in the Guards’ weekly newspaper, Sobh-e Sadegh, by the name of “Is the Slogan of ‘Free Election’ the Code of Another Sedition?”

The article is alluding to statements made by a number of reformist politicians, but also moderate figures such as former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and even incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in which they have called on people to be vigilant in order to ensure that a “free election” is held for the Islamic Republic’s presidency this summer.

The suggestion that the election will not be “free” was very quickly rebutted by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as well as numerous other conservative political figures, and deemed an effort on the part of hostile elements to instil doubt among the populace with respect to the future election’s fairness and trustworthiness.

Below I have provided a translation of some of the more noteworthy excepts of Javani’s essay.

“In 2009 the biggest and most complex conspiracy against the Islamic Revolution and the established religious regime in Iran took place. In this complicated conspiracy, alongside global arrogance under American leadership and the anti-revolutionary movement, forces with a revolutionary past and [once] possessing immense responsibilities in the Islamic regime, had active participation [in this conspiracy]. This conspiracy entered the country into the stage of sedition. The approaches of the movement claiming to be Reformist, in pursuit of political power and adopting a strategy for obtaining executive power in the 2009 election, at any price and [thought] permissible the use of any possible means, tool, and method. The adoption of the same Machiavellian and diabolical politics by some reformists, that sided with foreign enemies and total anti-revolutionaries inside and outside the country … Now that we are on the verge of the 11th presidential election, is it possible in the course of this election (before, during and after the election) another conspiracy and sedition will occur?”

“If in the 2009 election the reformists with the slogans, “the necessity for protection of votes” and the formation of “the committee for the protection of votes,” and ultimately the slogan of “fraud” and the claim of fraud in the election and the manipulation of votes, brought about that great sedition.  Is it possible that the slogan of “free election” that now with the space of five months till the election, is proclaimed by some of the domestic political spectrum, accompanied by foreign anti-revolutionaries, is the beginning of a road that will result in another sedition in the 2013 election?”

Javani then explicitly cites the comments of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani preceding the 2009 presidential election in which the latter warned against the manipulation of people’s votes and frontally attacks Rafsanjani, accusing him of preparing the ground for the “great lie” and allegation of electoral fraud. If you recall one of the first and most notable slogans chanted by Mousavi and Karroubi supporters was “Where is My Vote?”

He goes on, “the repetition of the same kind of views with respect to the election and the creation of suspicion regarding its health, was the introduction for the scenario of fraud and expressing that great lie and street campaigns that damaged the security of the country and the credibility of the Islamic regime.”

“Now in the space of the remaining 5 months to the election, a wave both inside and outside the country in a calculated way has been started by the groups, and they have emphasized the word, ‘free election’ and repeat it! When the election in Iran is free in the framework of the law and is healthy, why do a number both inside and outside, repeat ‘the free nature of the election’ in the form of a slogan? Does the regime want to hold an unfree election?”

Javani then goes on to name and cite the comments of several prominent members of the Islamic Republic elite, who have expressed their fears over whether June’s electoral race will be fair. These include former president Mohammad Khatami, former Interior Minister Abdolvahab Mousavi Lari, the head of the Reformist-leaning clerical association, the Association of Combatant Clerics, Ali Akbar Mousavi Khoeiniha, and even Presdient Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The son of the deposed Shah, Reza Pahlavi, also features on the list.

It’s hard to lose sight of the irony of the fact that while Ahmadinejad insisted his own re-election in 2009 was free and fair, a claim disputed by many, he has more recently implied that the next presidential election may well fail to be such. Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Khamenei, and his allies in the Revolutionary Guards, are keen to insist that any suggestion that the election could fail to be anything other than free and fair, is preposterous and another ‘conspiracy’ in the making.

 Image of Yadollah Javani via IRNA