Iran News ...


06/07/10

Many Principlists No Longer With Ahmadinejad

By Bahram Rafiee, Rooz Online

Reactions to Mashaei's Statements


Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei (left) and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (file photo)

Following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's recent remarks that "political parties should not interfere in government affairs," Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei declared that "the principlists have crossed Ahmadinejad," adding, "Many principlists who were not with Ahmadinejad at the beginning said after his victory that we have delivered victory to Ahmadinejad." Mashaei's statements revealed more about the administration's view of political parties and their role in society and added to tensions among principlists. Reacting to Mashaei's statements, the political director of the Iran Hezbollah Society announced that "many of the principlists are no longer with Ahmadinejad."

Seyyed Reza Akrami, a member of the Combatant Clergy Association (Jame Rohaniyat Mobarez), responded yesterday to the statement's of Ahmadinejad's top aide by noting, "One year has passed since the election, and officials shouldn't make such statements that only fuel differences."

This member of the eighth Majlis cultural affairs committee added, "Such statements from the nation's executive officials has no benefit, and only creates problems, divisions and difference among the principlists." He added, "Instead of talking about scenarios such as 'crossing Ahmadinejad,' the officials should be trying to find solutions to problems that are rampant in society."

Meanwhile, the political director of the Iran Hezbollah Society responded to Ahmadinejad and his aide's statements by noting, "Many principlists are no longer with Ahmadinejad. On the other hand, actually people who weren't with him before are now supporting him for their own benefit. Ahmadinejad doesn't have a positive view of political parties, but he owes his own victory to principlists political parties. He also knows that no administration can survive without the supreme leader's support."

Also addressing Rahim Mashaei's remarks, Hossein Kanani-Moghaddam said, "These statements about the political system show that Mashaei wants to cover for his own failures by creating an imaginary enemy. This kind of behavior has a long history and is not unconnected to Mashaei's previous post at the Cultural Heritage Organization."

Previously, during a visit to Kerman, in similar remarks Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had expressed his administration's policy with respect to political parties by openly saying, "Groups, organizations and political parties are respected but they don't have the right to interfere in government affairs and pressure this or that person."

The head of the administration also stated that "we are not accountable outside our own system," noting, "If someone wants to pressure us from the outside, we are not accountable to him, and he can do whatever he wants. We gave 200 thousand martyrs to not have to do that."

Ahmadinejad's remarks raised different reactions at the time, but following Rahim Mashaei's recent statement, several Majlis lawmakers have revisited Ahmadinejad's statements in new reactions.

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