Ahmadinejad government-affiliated news site shoots back at IRGC criticism

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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.

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Khamenei visits Northern Khorasan

Domestic Affairs

Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made an official visit to northern Khorasan and in a meeting with regional clergymen stressed the pivotal role of the clerical institution and its institutions of learning, calling them “the soldiers of the regime; nowhere can they imagine themselves separate from the regime”.

The comments were interesting insofar as the growing power of the military and Revolutionary Guards at the expense of the clergy has long been subject to speculation by Iran watchers and analysts.

The Iranian theocracy’s increasingly bold attempts to challenge the quietist clergy in Iraq and elsewhere might also be taken into consideration. Khamenei went as far as to invoke the authority of Shi’ism’s Grand Ayatollahs or Sources of Emulation, stating that “they reckon weakening of the regime absolutely religiously forbidden (haram).”

Regarding the mounting pressure on Iran as a result of punitive sanctions over its nuclear programme Khamenei stated, “Today like the war between groups in the Prophet’s time, all the enemies of the nation of Iran at the regional and international level have joined hands, to break the resistance and steadfastness of this nation. The believers [in the Prophet’s time] did not give in to fear and doubt and the nation of Iran in the struggle to increase its power and ability has also stood against pressures”.

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