Following the creation of a new council by the supreme leader of the Islamic republic of Iran to resolve the differences between the country's three branches of government, some news sites affiliated with the principlist (politicians asserting to be following the original principles of the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the monarchy) report that the goal of this measure is to reduce the costs incurred to ayatollah Khamenei because of the latter's interventions in the work of the government. At the same time, a member of the Assembly of Experts on Leadership said that the new group was created because of the unacceptable performance of Hashemi Rafsanjani's and the State Expediency Council that was set up during ayatollah Khomeini's life for the very reason of reducing conflict among government branches.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (Right), President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (Center) and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani at a religious ceremony in December 2009.
Reporting on this development, a news site close to Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf wrote that the reason for the creation of this new body was the differences among the leaders of the county which "had never been as serious as they are today. While there are no specific differences between the judiciary and the legislature, clashes exist between the executive branch and other institutions in the country."
This site also accused Ahmadinejad and his allies of damaging the supreme leader, and wrote, "With the formation of the council, there would be no need for the supreme leader to personally intervene in some of the differences that erupt as this new body would on its own examine the differences and present consultative opinions. In fact, this resource would reduce the efforts by some to damage the supreme leader."
On Monday, ayatollah Khamenei issued a decree on the formation of a five-body council and appointed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, Mohammad Hassan Abutorabi (member of the Majis), Morteza Nabavi (member of the central council of the Islamic Council of Engineers), Abbasali Kadkhodai (spokesperson for the Guardians Council), and Samad Mousavi Khoshdel to this body which is tasked to examine the differences between the three branches of government, present consultative opinions to resolve them and to regulate their relations.
The decree by ayatollah Khamenei also instructs state authorities to cooperate with the new council by deliberating among themselves to "regulate the relations between the branches in an acceptable manner and resolve potential differences."
These new body is being established while the constitution of the country assigns this responsibility to the State Expedience Council, which is currently chaired by Hashemi Rafsanjani who is recognized to be a staunch opponent of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
This may be the reason why one members of the Assembly of Experts on Leadership attributed the creation of the council to the "unacceptable performance" of the Expediency Council in "regulating the relations between government branches."
Assembly of Experts member Hassam Mamdoohi said, "Rafsanjani's work in the Expediency Council has not been impartial and the body has failed in regulating the relations between the branches in an acceptable manner. The perspective that Hashemi Rafsanjani has taken this capability from the Expediency Council."
With the curtailment of the work of the Expediency Council, he also said, "In fact, the Expediency Council has lost its valuable mediation work because Hashemi Rafasanjani's mediations have not been impartial and the interventions of the body have not been acceptable."
Prior to this differences between the Majlis and Ahmadinejad had forced the supreme leader of the Islamic regime to create an ad-hoc group to resolve the difference. During the debate on merging some government ministries a meeting was held to resolve the differences in the leader's presence but which failed to produce the desired results.
The most serious differences between the senior leaders of the regime erupted over the dismissal of the minister of intelligence on orders from Ahmadinejad, which immediately prompted the leader to re-instate the minister. This incident led to Ahmadinejad's deliberate absence from appearing at the presidential office bringing him close to his resignation.
Since then, principlist politicians in the Majlis have increased their criticism of Ahmadinejad who publicly named the president's allies such as Mashai and Baghai to be members of a deviant group who are accused of pursuing policies other than those desired by the supreme leader.
Some observers have interpreted the re-emergence of ayatollah Shahrudi differently. It should be noted that when Shahrudi was the head of the judiciary, some unofficial sources had referred to him as the successor to the supreme leader of the regime.
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