The leadership of the Iranian army yesterday broke its silence regarding the proposal made by the former president of the Republic and an influential member of the assembly of experts Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani last week regarding the necessity to select a collective leadership rather than just one leader who occupies the highest position in the country.
The Chief of Staff Hassan Fayrouz Abadi said in a statement released by Fars news agency yesterday that Iran “did not ever have a leadership council or a council that leads the army. All the conspiracies failed. Now, they are repeating the ruse of the leadership council to undermine our progressive and stable leadership. He added, “If the leadership becomes a council, the country will suffer and our strong unity against America, Zionists and imperialist enemies will break down”.
This statement coincided with Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, nominating himself for the assembly of experts election which is scheduled to take place in February. The supreme leader is the supreme commander of the armed forces and has the power to appoint the heads of the judiciary. Senior ministers are also selected with his approval and he has the final say on Iran’s foreign policy and its nuclear programme. In comparison, the president of the republic has little power.
Conservatives close to Khamenei expressed fears about the grandson of Khomeini standing as a candidate and warned of the danger of forming a reformist alliance at the top of Iran’s political establishment.