Report Source: Radio Zamaneh
Chief Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Mohammad Ali Jafari told a group of Basij university officials that the recent "riots took us to the edge of a downfall," Fars news agency reports. Commander Jafari described the "threat to the Islamic Republic regime" even greater that the "eight year war between Iran and Iraq."
Jafari claimed: "The recent dispute which started
about 10 to 12 years ago in the country, is a dispute over the principles and
the content of the system."
In the past months, Iran has been the scene of widespread protests to the outcome of the presidential elections. Allegation of fraud in the ballot has been accompanied with demands for a recount or a new election. Over four thousand people were arrested in an attempt to crush the protests. While the majority of the detainees were released, of the remaining four hundred detainees many were reportedly tortured and some even killed while in custody.
The Revolutionary Guards Commander claimed that "the reputation of the regime has been tainted ...these events have compromised our internal unity and dealt a blow to the credibility of our regime." He added that the "negative effects" of these blows will take years to be erased.
The authorities have been trying to paint the
recent turmoil as a foreign conspiracy to topple the Islamic government. In the
same vein, Commander Jafari declared: "The object of the enemy in the recent
events was to destroy the Islamic aspect of the regime by using the republic
aspect as a tool. They wanted to secularize the religious system of Iran and
weaken the place of Vekayat-e Fagih by turning it into a ceremonial post."
Opposition leader and disputing candidate of the elections, Mir Hosein Mousavi has repeatedly addressed this line of reasoning by insisting that the opposition movement is not after a change of regime but rather a return to the principles of the Islamic Revolution and the provisions of the country's constitution. "Islamic Republic, not a word more, not a word less," has been Mr. Mousavi's recurrent motto.
Chairman of the Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who had aligned himself with the demands of election protesters and become the target of the Supreme Leader's disapproval, has recently proposed certain plans to reinforce national unity and resolve the current crisis.
His olive branch was denied by Commander Jafari who declared: "It is not possible to create a plan of solidarity with those who have broken the law and denied the nation's votes. They must first apologize to the people and submit to their choice."
Reformist protests persist in Iran as the universities were the scene of anti-government demonstrations last week and the two defeated candidates of the presidential elections, Mir Hosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have vowed to continue their legal battle against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government which according to his opponents lacks legitimacy because its leader was fraudulently elected.
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