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

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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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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

 

 

Khamenei’s representative in Revolutionary Guards: the “rational and logical engineering of the election” is the Guards’ duty

Hojjat al-Islam Ali Saeidi, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards in an interview with the Iranian Students’ News Agency on Tuesday, 8th January 2013, has stated that it is the “rational and logical engineering of the election” is the duty of the Revolutionary Guards, and has asked Principalists to put their differences aside in the future election.

Saeidi continued, “the Revolutionary Guards only explain the framework and criteria, which is not interference in the election, but the rational and logical engineering of the election it is our essential duty”.

Saeidi also rejected the calls for “national unity” which have been advocated by individuals such as former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and in contrast to some Principalist politicians such as Ali Motahhari and Habibollah Asgarowladi, and said he regarded former regime insiders turned opposition leaders, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, as “seditionist”.

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