Infighting between Khamenei and Rouhani

MEK-Iran: Divisions Deepen Within the Iranian Regime

Infighting between Khamenei and Rouhani

A surge in the infighting between the Iranian regime supreme leader and its president Hassan Rouhani enters new stage, as internal crisis and people’s protests expands.

Regime President Hassan Rouhani has hit back at his critics within the regime. In a speech that was broadcast from the state media, he blasted his political rivals on Saturday evening at a meeting with reporters from state-run media, calling them “traitors” and escalating the internal disputes within the regime.

The Supreme Leaders Rebuff

Rouhani’s comments came after the regime Supreme Leader Khamenei turned down his requests for more power and authority. In the wake of tighter US economic sanctions, Rouhani argued that “the country needs an agenda and a commander.”

“The fact that Iran’s ship could not dock in foreign ports for 10 days to unload is unprecedented in our history,” he said.

Rouhani believed he could be that commander and implored the Supreme Leader to amend the constitution to grant him more power. His requests were met with resistance. Khamenei insisted that there is nothing wrong with the existing constitution. He said that if Iran has problems it stemmed from “our officials.”

Squabbling Over 2015

In an unprecedented escalation of infighting between various rifts within the regime for more power, Rouhani in his rebuttal, protested recent remarks from the Supreme Leader putting the blame for the failed 2015 nuclear deal with the P5+1 squarely on his shoulders. He reminded Khamenei that in 2004, the Supreme Leader had agreed to hold a public referendum to decide if the regime should enter negotiations with the international community.

“I asked the Supreme Leader to place the nuclear issue before the people based on Article 59 of the constitution. I explained and even sent a written letter to him, in addition to expressing my thoughts in person. He considered the reference to this article as a positive measure and agreed. However, there was no mentioning of when this [referendum] would be carried out,” Rouhani complained.

A Vulnerable Regime

The regime appears more vulnerable than ever. Internal rifts have widened in the run-up to the Majlis elections (the Iranian parliament). Many in the regime are concerned that the public’s increasing impatience and distrust of the government will harm regime-affiliates in the upcoming elections.

Some voices would like to see public dissent and opposition crushed further to avoid the loss of votes. “If this is true it would be the biggest act of treason against the Iranian nation and history,” Rouhani said.

Hossein Maghsoudi, a member of the Majlis, called the pro-Rouhani camp, “an enemy larger than America.” He suggested that Rouhani and his acolytes were gunning for a war with the US to further expand the presidential powers and plunder the country.

Another member named Hossein Ali Shahriari suggested that Rouhani’s tenure as president had engulfed the country in “corruption, bribes, injustice, and discrimination.”

Rouhani and his allies have attacked the media, questioning why they won’t disseminate his propaganda claims that his administration is supplying natural gas to ten new villages a day and providing clean water to 30 new villages each month. “You should publish the government’s successes,” he said.

Safeguarding the Regime

The only thing all factions have in common is their pursuit to save the regime at all costs. Rouhani has made it clear that he will do whatever it takes to maintain the mullahs’ grip on power. He will kill as many political opponents as it takes, run roughshod over Iranian human rights, plunder the country’s wealth and resources and watch as Iranians get increasingly poorer and more desperate.

“People may have lesser to eat at nights and live in hardships. In my opinion, this is not important. This is not our priority,” he said.

This demonstrates that under the existing regime, Iranians will not find their fate improved. They will continue to suffer at the hand of the mullahs.

Staff writer

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