Will Rafsanjani be removed?
Trend Persian Desk Head Dalga Khatinoglu
The Secretary-General of the conservative Islamic Coalition Party, Mohammad Nabi Habibi, who takes an active part and enjoys influence in the economy, market and business of Iran, has differentiated former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani from Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karrubi, whom he described as "intrigue leaders".
On the one hand, Iranian pro-governmental radical forces' attack on Rafsanjani, who has been known as the second personality in the country for a period of 30 years, and his family, and on the other hand, the support provided to him by the reformists and part of conservatives raises a question about Rafsanjani's current weight and his political fate end..
Akbar Behramani, who is known as Hashemi Rafsanjani, was the chief adviser of former Iranian religious leader Imam Khomeini and the first religious personality who three months after the overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's government stated that he would participate in the policy of mullahs and declared establishing Islamic Revolution Party in order to create a religious government. Such an opinion was not expressed in the then statements made by Khomeini.
Rafsanjani, who is currently accused by Ahmadinejad's radical supporters and even national security minister Heidar Moslehi of cooperating with "intrigue leaders", was a figure that immediately called a meeting of the Council of Religious Experts in several hours after death of Imam Khomeini and elected Ali Khomeini the current religious leader.
It is difficult to predict who will win in the force competition between Hashemi Rafsanjani, who worked as a speaker, interior minister, president, head of Advisory Council and Supreme Religious Council, as well as Council of Religious Experts, and Ahmadinejad, who is considered to be from the new generation. Here, Khomeini's support for any wing, Iranian people's negative attitude towards the government, splits in Ahmadinejad's government and most importantly the role of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution (Sepah and Basij) will decide the country's destiny. Although reacting to the disagreements resulted from the presidential elections, Khameini stated that Ahmadinejad's opinions are closer him, also condemning the aggressive attacks upon Rafsanjani, he stated that he was devoted and faithful to the Islamic Revolution forever. And repeatedly stating that Khameini is Vali Faghih, Rafsanjani declared to be his successor.
Rafsanjani made his most important message in Mashhad city two months earlier. Highlighting the importance of establishing solidarity in the country, he presented the "national coalition" project, which envisaged freeing hundreds of opposition members. On the other hand, he mentioned absence of Khameini's role in the "crisis in country": "arrests, repressions and radical actions (of the government) are not ordered or allowed by Khameini," said supreme religious leader, trying to make justification. Of course, these words reflect certain reality. For instance, it is unknown that the groups attacking on demonstrations with arms and other supplies received orders directly from the religious leader. It needs to remember that during the term of the former president Mohammad Khatami, the same forces also had efforts in suppressing the bloody riots at the Tehran University and in overthrow of Khatami's government. But, Khamenei supported Khatami's government. Unlike past, currently the militant forces, particularly Sepah's influence in the government have significantly strengthened and Khameini is not prepared for risk to again take a neutral position or criticize the government.
Sepah, who concluded contracts worth billions of dollars in oil and gas, construction, import-export and other spheres during Ahmadinejad's government, unanimously supports Ahmadinejad. And Khamenei, who is not in possession of charisma like Khomeini amongst people and religious scientists, is forced to lean upon Sepah.
In a situation where the government has lost people's support and leans on Sepah, it is unknown what wing Khameini will support between traditional religious forces and radical military forces. It is unknown whether people will revolt against or overthrow government or the government will overcome the crisis. In any case, it is surprising that in order to escape from the slander of the radical militaries, the people lean on the traditional religious forces, existed 30 years earlier, which played a key role in drawing the country into crisis and failed to successfully stand the political tests.