Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a meeting Wednesday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet warned that “Fitnah” (meaning sedition, a term Khamenei uses for reformist opposition) is the regime’s “red line,” urging Rouhani to stay clear of the reformists.
Last week, the Majlis impeached the popular minister of science and education, Reza Danai-Far, for appointing reformists to senior positions at his ministry. Reformist leaders, former premier Mir Hossein Mousavi and former speaker of Majlis Mehdi Karrubi, are still detained under “house arrest” nearly five years after leading the reformist or Green movement in 2009.
Khamenei was very clear about the “red line.” No reformist could hold a position of responsibility in the government, and any minister appointing him or her to such positions will be impeached, as was Danai-Far last week. The acceptable voice coming out of Rouhani administration should now approximate that of the hardliners.
Last year, the reformists and moderates supported Rouhani’s election. He won in the first round, carrying 28 of Iran’s 31 provinces, including all major cities. The candidate of the hardliners, Saeed Jalili, won only 11 percent of the popular vote, and could not carry a single province. But it is Jalili’s voice, and those of the hardliners, which is the preferred voice by the supreme leader; and Rouhani is so warned.
File Photo: Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (khamenei.ir)