Following the effects of the nuclear agreement on the domestic feuds between the regime’s factions, certain figures who had remained in the gray between Khamenei’s faction and that of Rafsanjani-Rouhani have been forced to take sides. These individuals used to resort to so-called centrist positions and the most significant of such figures is parliament speaker Ali Larijani.
In a blatant dispute with the regime’s leader, Ali Khamenei, and those concerned about the fate of the nuclear program, Larijani has adopted a position that is literally against Khamenei and his entire faction.
Khamenei’s faction considers “infiltration” by America and the west as the regime’s main problem these days. However, in a speech in the city of Qom Larijani was seen surprised about this matter. In fact he described the regime’s economic problems as the main problems facing the country.
Larijani was also seen surprised of the fact that pro-Khamenei media are emphasizing on the issue of infiltration to such an extent and believe that the West, especially the United States, are seeking to overthrow the mullahs’ regime.
“I have no doubt that today those in the West have surpassed the remarks they used to make about Iran. I find it odd how sometimes inside the country these issues become such a major issue in the media that for example the Westerners and Americans are seeking to overthrow the regime. They don’t have the ability to do so,” he said.
As mentioned above the subject of “infiltration” is a slogan used by the Khamenei faction and the regime’s leader has personally raised this issue as the regime’s main problem. The media associated to his faction began bloating the subject and ignited the fire of war against the Rafsanjani-Rouhani faction.
In response the Rafsanjani-Rouhani faction consider this new “infiltration” game as another matter that will expire soon and lacking any sense. They view the issue of “infiltration” as nothing but a tool to crackdown used by the Khamenei faction against their followers and supporters.
Following Larijani’s remarks and him distancing from Khamenei’s remarks, the Keyhad daily, a known mouthpiece of Khamenei, wrote an interesting piece on November 22nd. Although not directly naming Larijani, by citing his remarks they associated his Islam to that of the Americans, and consider Larijani being completely wrong after saying the following: “The West’s perspective of Iran has changed and currently instead of overthrowing, they are speaking through logical engagement with Iran.”
From Keyhan’s point of view Khamenei and his faction have the correct calculations, viewing the U.S. and West as seeking to infiltrate into the regime and overthrow the government.
Reactions by Khamenei’s faction against Larijani began when he distanced himself from Khamenei’s faction, known as the “principalists”, and focused his measures in line with the Rafsanjani-Rouhani faction.
During the phase when the Joint Plan of Comprehensive Action (JCPOA) was under consideration in Iran it was witnessed how those concerned over the nuclear dossier were in deep dispute with Larijani. Finally, he took action against all those concerned over the nuclear dossier and Larijani’s elements in the parliament’s national security commission adopted a bill in contrast to the report prepared by Khamenei’s faction in the JCPOA evaluation commission.
E’temad daily wrote on November 17th regarding how the regime’s parliament speaker has distanced himself from Khamenei’s faction.
“Now the principalist faction has a lead guide to completely separate themselves from the former government and its supporters; a guide who in the months leading to the [nuclear] agreement had step by step revealed a new face, and during the days when the general and specific matters of the JCPOA were being adopted he suddenly appeared as a leader of a certain current and did not allow Khamenei’s followers, and supporters of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in any way disrupt the most important dossier that provided for the country’s national interests. This was how Ali Larijani became the most important and strongest figure to count on for Hassan Rouhani,” the daily wrote.
This daily, associated to the Rafsanjani-Rouhani faction, referred to Larijani’s criticism against the so-called principalist faction in support of Ahmadinejad.
“When Ali Larijani says ‘a certain entity will not jeopardize its entire reputation for an individual who speaks in populist terms’, this means the issue of the principalists’ reputation has become a concern for him; a concern that without a doubt will be related to the March 2016 elections. They don’t want to allow the shadow of the former government lay heavily on the history of the principalist current and influence the people’s vote in the March 2016 elections,” E’temad daily added.
The New York Times on November 13th wrote about the regime’s parliament speaker distancing from Khamenei’s faction, and their attacks focusing on Larijani himself (Read More)
The regime’s parliament speaker is now added to the list of targets sought by Khamenei’s faction. In addition to the fact that this reveals a deep rift and division inside the regime, it also reveals deep lines being drawn in the sand between the regime’s rival factions, and the situation inside Iran before the upcoming elections becoming more and more polarized.