Borzou Daragahi of the LAT explains that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned Monday that the opposition must cease its campaign of civil disobedience.
AP argues that the struggle in Iran has moved to a new stage, and is no longer just about street protests. It is a now a struggle for power within the country’s elite.
The USG Open Source Center translated Khamenei’s speech. Here is the money graf:
‘ The people can only reach their goals in the light of security and tranquillity. If security is maintained, education, science, progress, industry, assets, welfare, and worshiping can be achieved. .. .Disturbing the security of a nation is the biggest sin that could be committed by someone. Of course, if some one is linked to the foreigners will not listen to [this advice] and I am not going to address such groups.
I am going to address the elite. The nation is vigilant, our elite should be vigilant too. The elite should know that any remarks, action, and analysis, which help them (the enemies), will be against the direction the nation is moving. All of us should be very cautious. We should be very cautious. . . There are things that should not be said and uttered. If we speak about them, it means that we have acted against our responsibilities.
The elite are undergoing a test, which is a big one. If we fail in this test, we will not only fall behind for one year, it will also lead to downfall. In order not to have that fate, we should use the yardstick of reason, which invites mankind to worship God.’
The cheeky opposition, in the form of former president Mohammad Khatami, replied by calling for a national referendum on the June 12 presidential elections, which the reformists are convinced were stolen.
Bloomberg speculates that Iran’s internal turmoil may lead Tehran to give less aid to those two groups, weakening them. I don’t believe this speculation is correct. First, the hard liners attempt to bolster their prestige by supporting such groups abroad, and they need their prestige more than ever. Second, both are grass roots organizations that can thrive without foreign support. Finally, many Gulf millionaires are waiting in line to donate to causes in both Lebanon and Palestine, so Iran’s withdrawal from the fray would just give its rivals an opening. But the funding would still be coming in.
Sometimes officials use the past tense (“the people have . . .”) to signal the imperative (“the people had damn well . . .’). I’d read this item translated by the USG Open Source Center that way:
‘ Military Official Praises Iranians’ Obedience To Leader
Fars News Agency
Monday, July 20, 2009
Document Type: OSC Transcribed Text . . .
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian nation’s obedience to the Supreme Leader has always thwarted enemies’ plots against the Islamic Republic, a senior Iranian military official said Saturday.
“The enemies showed during the recent riots that they aim to overthrow the Islamic ruling system and undermining Vellayat-e-Faqih (religious leadership). People and Basij (volunteer) forces from different walks of life should wisely identify enemies’ plots in this regard,” Deputy Representative of the Supreme Leader at the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Mojtaba Zonnour [Ar. ‘Dhu al-Nur’] said, commenting on recent post-election unrests in Iran.
Zonnour further pointed to the complexity in the nature of post-election unrests, and said the complicated situation ended only after Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei presented insightful guidelines and people staged a wise presence in the scene.
“The enemies’ plots were defused through the wise presence of the people and the wise leadership of the Leader. . .”
Further in his remarks, the IRGC official underlined preparedness of the Iranian security forces and police to defend the country, and added that they will remain on the alert to confront any possible soft threat against the country with maximum power.
Earlier in March, IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said that fighting enemies’ soft threats is the most important task of the Basij forces.
“Today, the most important and main mission of Basij is confronting enemies’ soft threats and cultural invasion which are stealthily targeting the (Iranian) youth,” Jafari said.
(Description of Source: Tehran Fars News Agency in English — Pivately owned online news agency which began operating in mid-November 2002. In December 2007, Hamid Reza Moqaddamfar replaced Mehdi Faza’eli as managing director and told Fars managers that the agency follows “Principle-ists” policies and its activities are in line with the Islamic Republic and the Vali-ye-Faqih; URL: http://www.farsnews.com/)’
More on Sunday’s charge by conservative Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi that Akbar Hashemi Refsanjani, undermined the Islamic Republic with his remarks during a Friday prayers sermon last Friday. The USG Open Source Center translates the full Persian article from Fars:
‘ FYI — Iranian Cleric Sees Traces of Velvet Revolution in Rafsanjani’s Letter
Fars News Agency
Monday, July 20, 2009
Document Type: OSC Summary
Conservative cleric and member of the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, once again criticized the head of the Assembly of Experts and Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani on 20 July for his comments in his Friday prayer sermons on 17 July and his silence after the 19 June Friday prayer sermons delivered by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene’i.
Speaking at a meeting with the managing director and high-ranking officials of Fars News Agency in Qom, the head of the Qom Seminary Lecturers Association, Ayatollah Yazdi, said: “There were plans before the election to use the opportunity to carry out a colorful velvet revolution and to oust the system. They (West) believed that the election was a good opportunity to do so, and one of the first sentences that attracted my attention to this issue was the words used by Hashemi in his letter to the leader (prior to the election).”
Yazdi referred to the Friday prayer sermons of 17 July, led by Rafsanjani, and said: “On Thursday (16 July), before Mr Hashemi had spoken, I met with a few colleagues of the Investigation Committee of the Assembly of Experts. I was in charge of the committee and different issues were raised.”
Referring to Rafsanjani’s sermons, Yazdi said: “We did not expect someone like him to make such comments after all the recommendations we had made to him and after the Leader tried to defend his position like that (in Friday prayer sermons on 19 June). We all know that if Rafsanjani wanted to deliver the Friday prayer sermons right after the election (19 June), he could not have done it and the circumstances were such that he could not have attended Friday prayers.”
He added: “As the head of the Expediency Council, Mr Rafsanjani was expected to welcome the remarks of the supreme leader, since His Eminence had defended him and supported him. However, Rafsanjani kept a meaningful silence. I think it was not silence; it was a cry in support of the opposition.”
Yazdi said: “This silence became a backbone for the opposition, and others used the silence to carry out some actions which we all witnessed.”
The cleric added: “When it came to Mr Hashemi’s turn to lead the prayers we were all concerned and expressed our concerns in our last meeting. They (members of the Assembly of Experts) called Rafsanjani and told him that those who care for the system were calling on him to consolidate social unity and protect the system. They told him that his remarks should create unity; but we all saw what he said.”
Addressing Rafsanjani, Yazdi said: “As the head of the Expediency Council, do you think this (your remarks) was expedient under current circumstances of the country? It is in the interest of the country to support the leader and the system and to take action against deconstruction. You say the law should be observed and immediately after that you make unlawful remarks and say that the Guardian Council did not use opportunities.
Yazdi then reaffirmed that the election watchdog, the Guardian Council, had never acted partially or supported a specific candidate.
He added: “In any case, Mr Hashemi did not perform well and it is clear to the people that he did not carry out his revolutionary and religious duty at this important juncture. Mr Hashemi should have maintained unity, and called on the opposition to remain calm and put an end to seditions. He should have never allowed foreigners to comment against the country.” ‘
End/ (Not Continued)