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Iranian Sources: Political Crisis in Tehran between Khamenei and Rouhani | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

London-Iranian and Iraqi well informed sources, who are close to Shiite parties and factions in Iraq, revealed for Asharq Al-Awsat that Iran is facing governance crisis following the recent elections which reformers won, thus leading to a severe crisis between Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani and his Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif .

An Iraqi senior politician, who lives in London, said that according to the information he got, the main reason behind postponing Rouhani’s series of visits, which he was intending to do in Iraq and Austria, is not security. However, “Rouhani’s disputes with Khamenei let him think about resigning from his post.”

The politician added that there is information according to which Khamenei accused the Foreign Minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, of treachery for West; this is what caused Khamenei to aggravate his speech against USA and attack all its presidential candidates.

In addition, Khamenei criticized Hassan Rouhani and Hashemi Rafsanjani on Wednesday, confirming that Iran wouldn’t abandon its ballistic missile program despite growing international pressure following last year’s historic agreement limiting its nuclear program.

Dispute between Rouhani and Khamenei escalated after announcing the implementation of the nuclear deal as the latter warned from Rouhani’s economic approaches and his relations with western countries.

In the past few days, Khamenei called for implementing his “resistance economy” project.

Moreover, Iranian sources asserted that Rouhani postponed his visits to several countries because of disabling his government’s efforts in foreign policy, the nuclear agreement and lifting of sanctions after the development of the ballistic missiles tests by the Revolutionary Guards.

In the same context, Iranian media revealed Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel’s visit to Iraq in order to provide additional support for the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council Ammar al-Hakim.

The Iraqi source, which is close to the matter, confirmed for Asharq Al-Awsat that Haddad-Adel has been in Iraq for the past three days. According to his information, the source said “Haddad-Adel is staying at a guesthouse belonging to Ammar al-Hakim, yet his role is not pertained to supporting one party against the other. He visited Iraq to watch the situation closely as Iran is determined to keep the Shiite House unified”.

In a common matter, experts stated that the US treasury secretary seems to be laying the groundwork to let Iran begin trading in dollars, after a landmark accord with the West last year saw the country limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.

On Wednesday, Jack Lew said in Washington that US sanctions should not be used lightly, though a Republican-controlled Congress remains dead set against easing restraints on Tehran.

“We must be conscious of the risk that overuse of sanctions could undermine our leadership position within the global economy, and the effectiveness of our sanctions themselves,” Jack Lew said.