Moslehi: The “seditious and deviant currents” seek regime change

Heydar Moslehi, Iran's Minister of Intelligence

Heydar Moslehi, Iran's Minister of Intelligence

SourceISNA , Date: 09 September 2011

In a speech to the Assembly of Experts, the Minister of Security and Intelligence, Heydar Moslehi, warned of the dangers of the seditious and deviant currents [the regime’s terminology for the Green Movement and Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei and his supporters, respectively] for the upcoming 2012 legislative elections and declared that the Ministry of Intelligence Security (MoIS) was prepared to deal with them:

“The seditious and deviant currents both have the common trait of confronting the regime and the Supreme Leadership… These actions seek to abolish the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] as a Fasl al-khetab [final arbiter] and to divide the executive orders of the Supreme Leader into those that are binding and non-binding.”

He then laid out the way in which he believed these currents’ would approach the election:

“From the point of view of these currents, gaining the office of the president and seats in the Islamic Consultative Assembly [or Majlis, Iran’s legislature] is the only path to regime-change…Exaggerating the people’s problems, creating fear in the masses of the people, adopting a soft-line and conciliatory policy and having a serious enthusiasm for relations with America, [all of these] can be clearly highlighted in the actions of these currents…The plots of these currents include confronting the policies of the Supreme Leader, extremist nationalism, a focus on pseudo-modernism and an emphasis on the dysfunction of Islam and the [Shiite] clergy.”

Moslehi placed particular emphasis on how demographic changes in Iran- especially the coming of age of a generation with little memory of the Islamic Revolution of 1979- could pose particular challenges for the regime going ahead:

“These groups abuse the ignorance of the new generation in regard to the tenets of the Revolution in order to vacate the the ideals of the Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini] and the Supreme Leader from their thoughts.”

Editor’s note: Moslehi’s speech once again highlights the divisions within the Principalist faction, which could have important consequences for the upcoming legislative election and Iran’s factional politics. It attacks both the Reformists (who led the Green Movement in 2009-2010) and Mashaei, but the latter appears to have been his target. Mashaei, Ahamdinejad’s chief of staff, has raised considerable controversy in the last few years for touching on taboo themes such as Iranian nationalism, ties with the United States, and for questioning the role of the Shiite clergy in politics.

Although there is likely no political alliance between the Reformists and Mashaei as Moslehi implies, the president’s chief of staff has engaged in a discourse which may appeal to disenchanted Reformists. Moslehi’s speech is a salvo in a battle that continues to heat up as we approach the election.