By Nazanin Kamdar, Rooz Online
The Islamic Republic supreme leader's office issued one of the most important orders issued by the country's second leader. In sum, the order states that everyone must obey Mr. Khamenei.
The order to obey Mr. Khamenei is issued by
himself while in recent days political activists have sent multiple letters to
ayatollah Khamenei questioning his credentials and qualifications for
leadership. Most prominently, imprisoned journalist Isa Saharkhiz listed charges
against the leader in court.
According to the text published on ayatollah Khamenei's website, responding to a question about how one must obey the leader, he referred to himself as a "branch of the guardianship of the Prophet Mohammad and the Infallible Imams," "representative of the Hidden Imam," and ranked himself to be at the same level as Islam's Prophet Mohammed. He wrote, "Guardianship of faqih (religious jurisprudent) is the ruling of the qualified faqih in the absence of the Infallible Imam. It is a branch of the guardianship and ruling of the Prophet Mohammad and the Infallible Imams. You may ensure commitment to the Guardian Faqih by obeying his administrative rulings."
According to normal procedure, when ayatollah
Khamenei's website issues a text, all domestic media outlets are obliged to
publish the full text. But according to many, "ayatollah Khamenei is not a
source of emulation, has not written a treatise and cannot respond to questions
of this sort according to the Shiite jurisprudence."
A political expert told Rooz, "With this action, ayatollah Khamenei, who previously responded to non-political questions at the level of administering the city of Qom's sanitation infrastructure, has entered the area of political discourse. This so-called fatwa can be regarded as his new step toward a form of personal dictatorship."
The source continues, "Because he has not written a treatise and is not regarded as a source of emulation, ayatollah Khamenei had so far shied away from entering these topics. Even if he had, it was never published as a religious fatwa. That's why his new action is unprecedented."
In his latest meeting with Majlis lawmakers, ayatollah Khamenei made remarks about his position that were interpreted by some Majlis lawmakers as authorizing the disqualification of potential reformist candidates in the upcoming Majlis elections.
According to Rajanews, he is reported to have said, "An injury to the obedience to the faqih and the supreme leader is an injury to the Islamic regime itself, and I would not tolerate it from any person or group. Fortunately today, with God's blessing, all individuals and groups following the line of the Imam are committed to their obedience of the faqih and the supreme leader. We hope that conditions for their disobedience never emerge."
In addition, in recent months scores of hardline clerics and political figures have praised the supreme leader in speeches and writings, so much so that the publication of an article full of praise for him in the Kayhan newspaper was chastised by his office.
The recent fatwa from ayatollah Khamenei has been welcomed by hardline elements in the Islamic Passdaran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Javan Online website, close to the IRGC, wrote, "According to hiring rules and procedures at government-owned companies and associations, as well as many educational institutions, 'obedience to the supreme leader' is an essential criterion for acceptance, and this element must be examined more carefully from now on."
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