Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) “will confront head-on the deviant current led and directed” by Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff, the Supreme Leader’s deputy representative with the IRGC said today.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) with Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei
In a meeting with journalists, Mojtaba Zolnour said: “The deviant current intends to attack the Islamic Republic system using the very tools of the system.”
Assembly of Experts member Ayatollah Abdolnabi Namazi recently announced that Mohammadali Jafari, the chief of the IRGC, had called for Mashai’s arrest in a meeting with the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.
The IRGC denied Namazi’s allegations, but Namazi shot back that the Revolutionary Guards are in no position to call a senior cleric “a liar.”
Zolnour said today that since the Revolutionary Guards’ constitutional role is to protect the Revolution, the Guards will confront the “deviant current” if it moves towards “sedition.”
Zolnour added that the “seditionists” and the “deviant current” are raining blows on the regime.
The Islamic Republic conservative elite refers to Esfandiar Rahim Mashai and his circle of supporters, including Ahmadinejad. as a “deviant current.” “Seditionists” is the term they use for those who protested the 2009 election results. They are led by MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who challenged Ahmadinejad’s victory by accusing the government of vote fraud.
While attacks against chief of staff Mashai have intensified in recent months, Ahmadinejad has refused to distance himself from his controversial aide. That decision is eroding the two-time president’s support among the conservative elite, and some have even suggested he might be “under a spell” cast by members of the so-called “deviant current.”
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