Commander Yahya Rahim Safavi, former Revolutionary Guards chief and advisor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Iran’s joint chiefs of staff, in the course of a meeting of ex-servicemen in Tehran has warned of the prospect of a “new sedition from some inside [the country]” and also ominously stated that if “we sense a danger to the regime, we will enter the arena.”
Commander Yahya Rahim Safavi, advisor to the Supreme Leader and the Joint Chiefs of Staff has stated, “the Americans think they must have a presence in West Asia and North Africa to ensure the survival and security of the Zionist regime and to create a strategic rival in confrontation with Iran, this rival is Turkey”.
Referring to a 2012 United States’ National Security Report approved by President Barack Obama, Safavi said, “in this document of the Americans they introduced this as the biggest economic and security threat to America and in this same document Iran is mentioned as a regional threat and they have strengthened the Fifth naval fleet in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean, so they can preserve their dominance in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans and control the global economy and energy”.
Safavi emphasized further, “in regional issues and matters, the Americans don’t want Iran to be the first power of the region, and because of this they created the issues in Syria and with the money of some Arab countries and the politicking of America and deputyship of Turkey, they pursue Syria’s destabilization”.
Ahmad Karimi Isfahani, a member of the Front for the Disciples of the Imam and Leadership, and an influential figure amongst the bazaar guilds, has told Nameh News that Principalists should “admit” that supporting President Ahmadinejad was a “mistake.”
Karimi Isfahani made numerous noteworthy points that might be thought representative of a considerable swathe of opinion amongst Principalist politicians:
“When Ahmadinejad says he is not a Principalist it is correct, and also truthfully Principalists have thought correctly and his actions of the last 7 years show that he cannot be a reforming candidate for the presidency.”
“In 2005 after the election was brought to a second round and two people had to be chosen from [i.e., Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad]. At that time the Principalist by necessity settled on Ahmadinejad, not as an acceptable individual or one affiliated with the Principalists. Though some had reached the opinion that they would support him against the Reformists.”
Karimi Isfahani’s next comment is particularly interesting insofar as he reckons it to be Ahmadinejad’s lack of respect for the clergy which reveals the extent of his lack of Principalist credentials.
“Being a Principalist depends on passing through special phases and observing a determinate principle. Ahmadinejad’s action in confrontation with the clergy and Grand Ayatollahs alone shows that he is not a Principalist. His disrespect toward the clergy and the dissatisfaction of the Grand Ayatollahs from his first term resulted in some Grand Ayatollahs not permitting him to enter their quarters. This all shows Ahmadinejad is not affiliated with the Principalists.”
“Some of the main body of Principalists supported Ahmadinejad’s slogans and today must clearly accept that the introduction of Ahmadinejad as a Principalist and the candidate of the Principalists was mistaken. We were not in agreement with his candidacy during the first term and not the second.”
“The facilities that are today in the control of followers of Ahmadinejad, in particular the deviant current, is very dangerous. Money can have an effect on society and even this worry exists that this current never use this money they have gathered together to attract some votes toward themselves. In any case power and money is in the hands of a group who want to rival the Principalists.”
Finally, Karimi Isfahani stated clearly and without ambiguity, “until the time that the view of the president has the Leader’s approval and legitimacy bestowed upon it, it is nothing.”
Influential Principalist MP for Tehran and former presidential candidate, Ahmad Tavakkoli, has accused the government of intentionally weakening the rial so that it is able to pay for the process of subsidy reform. In exchange for subsidy cuts eligible Iranians receive a monthly cash payment, the first round of which was approved by the Majles in January 2010.
Tavakkoli said the subsidy law approved by the Majles required the government to meet its budgetary shortfall by means of increasing the price of fuel, thereby closing the gap with global prices. Instead, he claims what the government has sought to weaken the rial and play on disparities in currency in order to pay the cash payments, which are meant to alleviate the brunt of prices increases on basic goods and services such as gas, water, and electricity. Tavakkoli alleged that such policies will exacerbate inflation and unemployment and result in people rejecting the second phase of subsidy reform altogether.