Foreign Hands in Egypt ‘Likely,’ Says Iran Foreign Ministry



Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Aragchi suggested that foreign hands could be at work in weakening Egypt and called the military’s move against President Mohammed Morsi’s government “unacceptable.” The statements were issued before today’s shooting by the military that reportedly left dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members dead.

“Certainly foreign hands are at work, and this cannot be denied,” said Aragchi. “Either way, Egypt is a great Islamic country and has been the intellectual vanguard of many movements and thoughts in the Arab and Islamic world. Egypt’s strength is the strength of the Islamic world, and Egypt’s weakness is the weakness of the Islamic world. And certainly a strong Egypt is not desired by Western countries or the Zionist regime. Therefore, it is natural to know their interference as likely.”

“The interference of the military in political matters is not acceptable and is a cause for worry,” Aragchi continued. “Pushing Egyptian society into differences and creating a divided society is a dangerous situation. All the transformations are taking place together, and this makes it complicated.”

On his assessment of Egypt today, Araghchi said, “The events in Egypt are still hazy and their different dimensions are not yet clear. On one hand, the demands of the people of Egypt are present, and these demands started at the time of the revolution, when the people wanted the overthrow of [deposed president Hosni] Mubarak, and at different times different mistakes were repeated. In the latest events, a wider range of opposition and demands were expressed. What is important is to give importance to the legitimate demands of the people.”

Aragchi said, “We hope unity is protected in Egyptian society and that calm and stability are returned to Egypt’s political community.”

Chairman of Iran’s parliamentary commission on national security Alaeddin Borujerdi also spoke today about Egypt’s current political turmoil.

On the arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members, Borujerdi said, “This will be a provoking act for their supporters to enter the scene, but [the Muslim Brotherhood] should accept early elections. It’s a difficult thing but it’s the only path toward an understanding, because a continuation of the existing situation is dangerous for Egypt and the region.”

“Iran will certainly not interfere in the internal crisis of Egypt,” he added. “But we are ready to use our capacity to create calm to help Egypt.”

Borujerdi continued, “Certainly, America and the Zionist regime are happy about this crisis. Therefore, Egypt’s national interests must take priority. After one year of ruling, [the Brotherhood] was entangled with many problems, the army interfered and the people became divided. Therefore, if the leaders of the two sides fuel the conflict, it’s possible that Egypt will move toward an internal crisis or even toward violence or underground armed movements, which will be a tragedy for Egyptian society.”

“They must not give permission to provide the ground for extremist and well- known elements,” Borujerdi concluded. “Or Egypt will move toward unfortunate events like [those in] Syria and Iraq.”

IRGC Commander: Downing drones was “serious demand” of Supreme Leader

Brigadier Amir Ali Hajji Zadeh, Commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s aerial forces has said that the downing of American drones was the “serious demand” of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Hajji Zadeh added that Ayatollah Khamenei, “emphasised that the drones are not seen, but they collect information and thus striking and downing them was part of the serious demands of the Supreme Leader from the commanders”.

Continue reading

MP says Ahmadinejad’s firing of Minister reminds him of behaviour of Shah Reza Pahlavi

Javan, close the Revolutionary Guards, carries the comments of Deputy Majles Speaker, Mohammadreza Bahonar, who has speculated that another vote of confidence might be required for the approval of President Ahmadinejad’s Cabinet, given the numerous personnel changes which have taken place in recent months: “one of our old issues with the 9th and 10th governments is the bringing, leaving and removing [of Ministers] and of course we do not comprehend the reason for this action either”, said Bahonar, also a persistent Ahmadinejad critic.

The most recent and controversial sacking has been that of Dr. Marziyeh Vahid Dastjerdi as Minister of Health, a move which has been criticized by a number of MPs.

Hojjat al-Islam Mohammad Baqeri, an MP of the Clerical Faction of the Majles, has been particularly forceful in his remarks, claiming Ahmadinejad’s actions are reminiscent of Shah Reza Pahlavi’s [referred to simply by his pre-coronation name, Reza Khan], the first king of the Pahlavi dynasty and a figure universally despised by the politically active clergy for his secularizing and anti-clerical policies, such as banning the traditional veil and his disdainful treatment of the clerical establishment once he had established a firm grip on power.

Continue reading

“Insulting” caricature might result in closure of Reformist daily Sharq

120 MPs have protested a caricature in the Reformist daily Sharq deeming it insulting to the “warriors of Islam”, in this instance, the men who fought in the Iran-Iraq war.

It has been speculated by Digarban, a website outside Iran which follows the Conservative media, that the caricature is being used as a pretext to close the newspaper. In the caricature Iranian soldiers are depicted as blindfolded and “blindly” following one another in succession to the war front. Irrespective of whether the caricature is being used cynically by Iranian MPs in order to close down Sharq, the so-called “sacred defence” as it is referred to in official literature remains an extremely sensitive subject in Iran and has been transformed into the IRGC’s chief source ideological legitimacy.

Continue reading

Ahmadinejad Foe Replies to Critics

Former President Rafsanjani at the 12 meeting of the Assembly of Experts

Former President Rafsanjani at the 12 meeting of the Assembly of Experts

The Reformist daily Etemaad and Khabar Online report on the speech of Mostafa Pourmohammadi at the 13th meeting of the Union of Independent Student Societies throughout the country. Pourmohammadi was forced to resign from his position as minister of the interior by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and has since been appointed national chief of the Organization for the Inspectorate. Since the former interior minister’s break with Ahmadinejad, Pourmohammadi has been among the president’s most vociferous detractors, and recently addressed a letter to the Supreme Leader alongside other disgruntled ex-ministers, calling for the president’s executive powers to be transferred to a council. In the course of his speech, Pourmohammadi replied to his critics, many of whom are in government, and accuse Pourmohammadi of acting out of revenge against his former boss. “Those who clash with me and believe that I’m acting politically don’t want the country to have a desirable political atmosphere. They blunt the work of [government] supervision, because unlike my reports they are operating politically.” Continue reading