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As We Were Busy...

Opinion article by Issa Saharkhiz (source: Rooz Online)

Ahmad Janati

As we were intensely engaged in the atrocities being committed by Israel in Gaza and we debated whether we should or should not participate in the Ghods (Palestine) Day march in Iran to demonstrate our denouncement of the murders in Gaza, members of the Guardian Council had been meeting and reinstated Ahmad Janati as the secretary of the Council, despite his age and health.

This act, along with the earlier reconfirmation of Sadegh Larijani to continue to lead the judiciary branch of government, probably sends a loud and clear message that at least until the next round of Majlis and Assembly of Experts elections - both scheduled to take place before the end of 2014 - and perhaps even the next presidential elections things in Iran will continue as before and so nobody should expect any serious changes towards freedom, democracy or pluralism.

On July 7 this year, ayatollah Khamenei announced for the second time his desire for one of the Amoli Larijani brothers to remain in his post as the head of the judiciary, indicating that he has absolutely no desire to allow any changes to the way justice is upheld in the country and allow someone else who is not completely subservient to himself to take the helm. Hardline factions were quick to support this act and called it "his superb management in the last five years." Majlis deputies echoed this view and the head of the legislative assembly said the reappointed cleric was a "person deserving the position."

These two decisions came despite the various and at times widespread news and speculations in Iranian society that changes were needed in the two government branches of the regime.

There were reports that Ahmad Janati, who had pushed Hashemi Rafsanjani's latest presidential aspirations aside last year on the grounds of his old age, would retire because of his own age and physical and mental failings and that Sadegh Larijani would take his place, while someone at the level of Yunesi or Mohseni Ejei would lead the judiciary.

But with the re-endorsement of the two Principlist clerics it becomes clear that more engineering acts are planned for the future elections for which Amoli is deemed too young and inexperienced.

While Janati has been one of the three non-lawyer cleric members of the Guardian Council since its creation, he has been given the position of secretary and chief of the Council since ayatollah Khamenei assumed absolute political powers. He has continuously held this position during the last 21 years.

Sadegh Larijani is recognized as a stubborn follower of the supreme leader's orders and does not believe in the constitutional independence of the judiciary. His obedience to the leader is so absolute that even when someone is deliberately allowed to falls through the filters of the Guardian Council for the sake of state expediency, Larijani would still accuse him to be "a person who has issues and lacks the right qualifications" and instead of letting him assume his elected post would either put him under house arrest or send him to prison. Larijani knows too well who should be put on the annual amnesty list that is submitted to ayatollah Khamenei and who should be given and who should not prison leaves to visit his family.

We all know how the list of prisoners to be released or given amnesty is annually prepared with the aim of pleasing his superiors.

Those friends who participated in the Ghods Day march saw and heard the slurs that people used for the Friday prayer imam of Tehran, Ahmad Janati, the presidential candidates who won insignificant votes or ayatollah Khamenei's father in law Haddad Adel, which indicated only a portion of public protests over the oppressive status quo of the country.

The two recent reappointments by the supreme leader indicate how he and his supporters expect everybody to be happy and smiling about the good days around us, as he has said.

... Payvand News - 08/04/14 ... --

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