Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ahmadinejad Draws “Red Line” Against Judiciary

Iranian President Warns Against Arrests of His Associates

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today broke his silence on recent moves by judicial authorities against members of his cabinet and his close associates and wowed to defend them to the end. The cabinet is the “red line” that the authorities should not cross, he told reporters in Tehran, after chairing a meeting of his cabinet.

“I consider defending the cabinet as my duty. The cabinet is a red line and if they want to touch the cabinet, then defending it is my duty,” Ahmadinejad said [IRNA, 29 June].

“From our point of view these moves and pressures are political, (intended) to put pressure on the government,” said the president. “Our position is one of silence but if they want to continue it and under different pretexts want to accuse our colleagues in the cabinet, then I have a legal, national and ethical duty to defend my colleagues,” he added.

On Thursday, Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, a close associate of Ahmadinejad, was arrested on “financial charges” after he was forced to resign his post as deputy foreign minister. The Iranian parliament, Majlis, had threatened to impeach the foreign minister if Malekzadeh was not dismissed from his post.

The ultra conservatives in Iran have accused Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff and political confidant, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, and his close associates of working against the interests of the Islamic Republic, labeling them “deviationists.” Ahmadinejad has been under growing pressure to dump Mashaie and denounce and disassociate himself from the group. Influential members of the ruling conservative camp have also publicly threatened Ahmadinejad with impeachment if he does not end his association with the “deviationists.”

Aside from Malekzadeh, the judicial authorities have said in the past few days that they are investigating Ahmadinejad’s vice president, Hamid Baghaie, on charges of abusing power and that his arrest might be imminent. And that’s where Ahmadinejad was apparently drawing the “red line,” warning the authorities to take their hands off the senior members of his government.


Anonymous said...

Nader jan,

This is just the rough and tumble of daily politics. People are jockeying for positions trying to get as much political advantage as they can, given the parliamentary election is to be held next year and the presidential one the year after. As we approach those two events, we are bound to see all sorts of accusations and rumours about this politician or that politician flying around. It's just normal and happens in every country in the world.

However, on 31st of Khordad I watched a clip showing Ahmadinejad in the Majles trying to convince the MPs of the suitability of his nominee for the post of minister of sport and youth which made me incandescent with anger. As he was speaking at the podium, some of the MPs behaved really in a disgraceful manner, shouting and insulting the president who never lost his cool and even under great provocation tried to be humorous. Now, any decent Speaker would have stopped the proceedings and ordered those loutish MPs to stop their disgraceful behaviour and apologize and if they failed to do so order them out of the chamber.

But the smug Mr Larijani treated them with kid gloves. I think Mr Larijani who fancies himself as a candidate in the forthcoming presidential election would rue the day that he allowed such insulting behaviour by a group of MPs to go unpunished. This is because objectively assessed Mr Ahmadinejad is the most popular president in the 32-year history of the Islamic Republic and as he cannot run for a third term any person whom he endorses will have a good chance of winning the presidency. I am pretty certain that Mr Larijani will not be that person.

Anonymous said...

democracy at work... its good for Iranians to see that its OK to argue and disagree...

Nader Uskowi said...

This is more than the rough and tumble of daily politics that are witnessed in every country. And this is not democracy at work. This is the ugly face of Iranian politics that instead of including the largest numbers of politicians inside the ruling camp, it tends to narrow the circle and exclude everyone with slightest disagreement with the ruling conservative orthodoxy. This process started in the first years of the revolution and the "us" (khodi) circle got smaller by the year and the "them" circle got larger.

Just in the past two years alone the people excluded from "us" camp include the former Khomeini's prime minister, a former speaker of Majlis, a former president, and now they want to do the favor to a sitting president and a number of his cabinet members. This is not the way to run a country and Iran and Iranians will suffer immensely under this system of thinking that anyone having slightly different idea of how to run the country than the ruling conservative dogma needs to be considered an enemy of the state. We have seen this movie before, and elsewhere in the world, and its ending does not favor the country.

Anonymous said...

This is a clear indication of the independence of the judiciary and its complete seperation from the executive in Iran.

Something which ought to be everywhere.

the Sharia is a yes or no but the above feature is democracy in its essential form.

So please dont make an issue for the sake of an issue and recognize Iran has never been more democratic in nature.. (not socially.. but politically)

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your reply.

Yes it is. And with all due respect only persons of a bigoted frame of mind would not see and acknowledge that as such. Contrary to what you say it is democracy at work even though on occasions such as the one I referred to in my earlier post it went a bit too far.

As regards the "khodi" aspect of the Iranian politics, it is nothing new or exclusive to Iran. It happens in all countries under all sorts of political dispensations, be they democratic or dictatorial. You may remember that the former British Prime Minister Mrs Thatcher became famous inter alia for her mantra of "Is he/she one of us" (In fact the Guardian columnist the late Hugo Young wrote a book titled "One of Us" on this subject). She would only hire or invite people to work in her government if they satisfied that criterion. And here we are not talking about inviting or hiring people from the loyal opposition (Labour Party) but from the ranks of her own Tory Party.

A former prime minister, a former Speaker and a former president deserved their fate as they were not prepared to accept the will of the people who they must have known voted for Ahmadinejad and plunged the country into unnecessary turmoil. In fact considering the damage that they inflicted on the international reputation of the country, I am really amazed to see the leniency with which they were and still are being treated. And if you happen to subscribe to the notion that the last presidential election was "fraudulent", then I advise you to ask your esteemed colleague Mark to disabuse you of that notion.

I am very optimistic about the future of our country. Even the current political infighting is good and useful in the sense it helps the politicians to learn by trial and error and establishes the limits of what can be or cannot be achieved and therefore, laying solid foundations for a more mature home-grown )and not foreign inspired/imposed)Iranian democracy. Good-bye.