Iran Judiciary Spokesman Says Spat between Rouhani, IRGC Indicates Growing ‘Sedition’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a news conference in Islamabad

London- Iran Judiciary spokesman Mohsen Ejei said on Saturday that recent disputes registered across the national political and administrative figures point out to a looming threat of sedition. He also evoked the memory of ousted president Abolhassan Banisadr overlying on his popularity to attack ‘revolutionary’ powers in Iran.

“Banisadr was selfish and proud of the majority vote he had garnered,” Ejei said, a tacit reference to Rouhani’s groundbreaking vote of near 24 million this May that kept him for another four years in office.

Ejei, a representative of the conservative political wing, has said signs of “sedition” are seen on the horizon.
His remarks come as a veiled hint at criticism directed by the recently reelected President Hassan Rouhani against the Revolutionary Guard.

“Experience has shown that any act of sabotage against the IRGC and some revolutionary entities has been followed by some dangerous move,” Ejei said, IRIB news agency reported June 30.

The IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) has been put under pressure recently both in Iran and from outside the country. President Rouhani recently said the IRGC should recognize its place as a non-partisan entity serving the nation, bidding it away from political and economic activities.

For his part, the Parliament’s Second Deputy Ali Motahari urged that any internal strife be tackled with direct dialogue instead of the war of words being exchanged via online platforms.

But the revolution forces also met harsh treatment from the United States last week when the Senate voted for a legislation that would impose new sanctions on it for its missile program.

Experts believe that the recent clash between Rouhani and the IRGC is, in fact, a campaign he has launched to garner the position of leadership after the 77-year-old Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei passes away.

Khamenei has been the single staunchest supporter of the IRGC and paved the way for it to capture the core of various sectors in Iran, ranging from culture to economy and homeland security.

Quds day marches hailed Rouhani with slogans drawing on Banisadr’s legacy.

In Iran, the government sponsors and organizes the International Quds Day’s rallies, and its celebration in that country has had a decade-long tradition of voicing anti-semitic attacks.

Quds Day is also held in several other countries, mainly in the Arab and Muslim world, with protests against Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem. Rallies are held in various cities by both Muslim and non-Muslim communities around the world.

On the other hand, IRGC Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari called Rouhani’s statements as biased, accusing the government of compromising its undertakings for funding the revolutionary guard.

Jafari stressed that the Revolutionary Guards will rely on their missiles, saying that arms power is vital to securing a regional role and facing enemies.

Iranian Speaker Elections Spark Parliamentary Controversy

An Iranian Member of Parliament (MP) shakes his fist as he chants anti-Britain slogans during a debate in parliament

London- Iran’s parliament announced on Sunday delaying the session for electing leading roles at the Islamic Consultative Assembly to next Wednesday amid intensifying competition between three key parliamentary blocs.

The Hope reformist bloc that supported Iran’s recently re-elected President Hassan Rouhani accused a number of ministers of the government of seeking to overthrow Tehran representative and Second Deputy Speaker Ali Motahari and replacing him with a deputy governor.

Pervasive Coalition of Reformists, named The List of Hope, and led by Mohammad Khatami is the sole coalition and electoral list affiliated with the Iranian reform movement for the Iranian legislative election, 2016.

A number of reformist MPs warned that continued meddling in parliamentary elections would result in ending the alliance between moderate and reformist blocs.

The main competition for the three top parliament posts is expected to intensify after reformist deputies revealed attempts to topple deputies backing the current reformist First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Masoud Pezeshkian and Motahari.

Reformists backed a list of 236 candidates for the Parliament and 77 for the Assembly of Experts, even though many of them are not reformists but moderate-leaning figures.

Motahari enjoys the support of the reformist bloc of 158 out of 290 deputies.

The Iranian parliament had elected Ali Larijani to head the body in 2016, after winning an overwhelming majority of 237 out of 276 votes cast.

Larijani was supported by the reformist bloc. First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Pezeshkian won his post with 158 votes to 133 that were cast to Motahari’s favor.

Rouhani had gathered smashing support from center-right MPs such as Larijani, which is reassuring amid clashes closing in between the re-elected president’s party and reformists.

Political onlookers see that a number of far-right MPs, leading an alliance with a handful of unlisted MPs, would seriously challenge Rouhani’s administration.

Iran Awaits Rafsanjani’s Will

Iran

Former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi laid to rest on January 10 amid national anticipation for the announcement of his will, which according to close sources, will be declared soon.

Rafsanjani died of a heart attack at 82 on January 08, and three days of official mourning began on Monday. He served two terms as Iran’s president from 1989 to 1997 and had been an influential figure in Iranian politics.

At the time of his death, he was the chairman of the Expediency Council, which aims to settle disputes between the country’s parliament and the Guardian Council.

Second Deputy of the Parliament of Iran Ali Motahari renewed his requests for a solution for the case of Green Movement leaders who are under house arrest.

Motahari addressed protests at Rafsanjani’s funeral and tweeted on his official account: “The chants at Rafsanjani’s funeral show that officials must quickly solve the issue of the Green Movement leaders who are under house arrest.”

President Hasan Rouhani also described the huge turnout at Rafsanjani’s funeral as “loyal”. He thanked the attendees saying he is speechless for their kindness.

Public mourning for Rafsanjani continued while Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei hosted a memorial service at his residence for the late president which was attended by high-ranking Iranian officials.

Rafsanjani’s family announced that his will is to be published soon adding that he assigned his older son Mohsen Hashimi as the executor.

During a television interview, Mohsen Rafsanjani recited a single sentence from his dad’s will in response to allegations concerning his wealth. Mohsen stressed that his father’s possessions are the same as they were before the revolution. He confirmed that everything Rafsanjani earned was according to the law.

Meanwhile, Rafsanjani’s brother and head of office Mohammed Hashimi denied media reports claiming that his brother’s body wasn’t in the casket. He accused those media outlets of wanting to create strife in Iran.

On Tuesday, thousands of citizens took to the streets calling for reforms meeting the calls of former reformist president Mohammad Khatami.

Khatami, who had become close to Rafsanjani after he became a reformist, was banned from attending the funeral.

Similar to the incidents of summer 2009 in Iran, citizens chanted slogans against the authorities and in support of reformist leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, who have been under house arrest for their roles in the Green Movement protests after the 2009 presidential election.

Rafsanjani’s funeral also became a platform for mourners to protest against the regime’s policies and its allies in the region.

In a clear message against Iran’s involvement with Moscow in the region, protesters chanted against Russia saying “Death to Russia” and “the Russian Embassy is the den of espionage,” as they passed the embassy’s complex in the heart of Tehran.

ILNA news agency reported that hundreds of mourners asked in their chants for the return of Khatami to the public life and release of Karroubi and Mousavi.

Earlier in December of 2016, Ali Motahari delivered a speech at the event of student’s day at Amirkabir University during which he said: “The house arrest should either come to an end, or a legal authority should decide upon it,” he said.

Motahari stated that the house arrest is against the law and religious teachings. He and other officials had spoken to Khamenei on several occasions, but the Supreme Leader refused to hold a court session for Karroubi.

Rafsanjani once declared that he was close to convincing Khamenei of a settlement that would end Karroubi and Mousavi’s house arrest, hadn’t it been for certain parties interference.

Official authorities say that the house arrest decision was done according to the Iranian Supreme National Security Council.

In April, Karroubi sent Rouhani a message asking for a public trial, but Rouhani never responded, despite the fact that ending Karroubi and Mousavi’s house arrest was one of Rouhani’s presidential campaign promises.

Karroubi said in his letter that he would accept the sentence that comes from his trial without appealing it. Back then, Motahari considered Karroubi’s requests to be reasonable.