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IRGC's Jafari: The Fight In Iran Is Over Two Views On Leadership

By Artin Saffari, Rooz Online

Months after many commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the Basij paramilitary force under it remained accusatory of the protestors across Iran who challenged the electoral coup of June 12, 2009, as some such as the supreme commander of the force even accused the goal of the protests were the "republican" nature of the regime, Mohammad Ali Jaafari - its current supreme commander - came out with yet another explanation on Tuesday. He said, "What has taken place in the country on the pretext of a fraudulent election is an effort to weaken the authority of the leader and its transformation to a ceremonial position, which is diminishing the color of its Islamic nature."

Mohammad Ali Jaafari

Speaking at a Basij seminar in the province of Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari province, Jaafari said, "By organizing a velvet coup d'etat, the enemies of Islam targeted the sanctity of Islam, the revolution, Velayat (religious leadership), and religious rule, particularly the current religious leader and intended to destroy the regime and the country."

"That some elite have moved away from the principles and virtues of the revolution is not a new event," Jaafari said, "but in this situation today's enemies are pursing their goals by instilling doubt in political discussions, in elections, velvet revolution, playing with people's votes, and engaging in various economic plots through domestic and foreign agents."

Pointing to the leaders of the pro-reform movement who have previously been in leadership positions of the Islamic republic, such as being a prime minister, president, and Majlis speaker, the commander said, "Some of these political individuals have derailed from the revolutionary, divine and leadership path. Today the conflict is over two views: the Islamic, revolutionary, Quranic and Alavi (follower of Ali), and the material path which is Western and American, both of which show themselves in this event." Without naming the Principalists and reformers who have been facing each other, he continued, "These two views face each other today and in fact the conflict is over which of the two views should prevail."

In his talk to the Basijis, Jaafari said it was not easy in today's circumstances to identify friend from foe and the real nature of people. Some wear the clerical robe yet do not accept the Velayat Faghih, i.e. the rule of the supreme cleric and believe that a religious government only belongs to Imam in occultation.

"They of course do not have the courage to say this openly which is why they strive to weaken the religious nature of the regime. They see the weakening of the Velayat Faghih as the only way to accomplish their goal," he said.

A Change in Accusations

These remarks by Jaafari that Velayat Faghih and the Islamic nature of the state are the final targets of the protestors comes after he had earlier told Jam Jam newspaper, "The plot after the elections, was aimed at the republican nature of the regime. They wanted to present the Islamic Republic as a deceitful regime that dishonors the votes of its people and (then conclude) that such a regime cannot be Islamic."

In these most recent remarks, the commander of the IRGC made a reference to clerics who "did not accept the Velayat Faghih and a theocracy", while in his earlier statements had claimed that "Mohammad Khatami and ayatollah Mousavi Khoeniha planned to topple the current leader." He had attributed those remarks to what Khoeniha had said in 2008 to the effect that they, meaning the opponents of the regime, had to do everything in their power to pull down the current leader at any cost so that he understands that he cannot take the country into any direction that he wishes, because Khatami and his allies have plenty of experience. [This was reportedly earlier in RoozOnline.]

In that earlier talk, Jaafari had also claimed that former president Mohammad Khatami had said that if Ahmadinejad lost the June 2009 presidential elections, this would have meant the fall of the leader and so he would be eliminated, adding that if reformists returned to power, then there would be no authoritative leader in society and that the fall of the Principalists (hardline idealogues supporting the current president) would mean the end of the hardline leadership and thus containment of the authority of the leader.

At the time Jaafari did not specify where he got that information regarding Khatami or Khoeniha, but in a different part of his talk he did quote some remarks from the forced confessions that had been obtained from the detained political activists.

Jaafari had made similar accusations against other reformist activists such as Behzad Nabavi, and Mostafa Tajzadeh, both senior officials in earlier Islamic administrations. "This plot has complexities and if we want the continuation of the Islamic Republic, we must be more careful and strive to identify foe from friend," Jaafari had said, while using the same terminology as the ayatollah Khamenei when referring to the street protestors.

... Payvand News - 01/14/10 ... --

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