Iran’s hardline daily newspaper Jamhouri Eslami made a rare attack on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for making espionage accusations against a former nuclear negotiator, Hossein Mousavian, and saying that influential politicians were using their power to have him cleared. Mousavian was an aide to former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. “Lately defaming political rivals has become common in the country and has replaced lawful behaviour,” the newspaper wrote in an editorial. “We want to reject this kind of behavior as immoral, illegal, illogical and un-Islamic and remind wise figures that such a trend is dangerous for the country.”
Analysts say Ahmadinejad and his rivals are stepping up their political positioning ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2008 and presidential elections in the spring of 2009. The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is a former managing editor of Jamhouri Eslami. (The Age, Australia, Nov. 24)
Meanwhile, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Commander Mohammad-Ali Jafari Nov. 24 warned unnamed enemies against unleashing a “tsunami” by plotting against the Islamic Republic. “The ocean of the Iranian nation may sometimes look calm but if it becomes stormy it will create tsunamis,” he said in a ceremony over Friday prayers at Tehran University marking the anniversary of the establishment of the Basij paramilitary volunteer force. “Our enemies should know that our nation is being patient against their mischief and that this is the calmness before a storm, because if the Supreme Leader gives orders to foil these plots, the Basij and the Iranian nation are ready to neutralize these plots as required.” (Tehran Times, Nov. 24)
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