Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU Staff

INU - Ahmad Khatami, Iran’s chairman of the Assembly of Experts, as well as Friday Imam of Tehran, said, regarding the growing popularity of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) among the youth, "Do not think that the (risk of) overthrow is over. No, the enemies will not give up thinking about the overthrow even for a moment. We must be alert.” He added, "You foiled the MEK’s sedition in 1996, 2009 and January 2016. You should foil the next seditions and you can do that. You foiled the MEK’s sedition; how? You informed that there is a team of them near our home. Go arrest them. They (the suppressive forces) went and arrested them and destroyed them ... Wherever you see the conspiracy, wherever you see the plotter, quickly notify the authorities, as your duty.”

He said further, “The enemy is abusing new information tools; Telegram channel, Instagram and other tools in this field.”

Khatami conceded that the Iranian people are deeply angry with their government, saying, "Their new plan is to weaken the clergy ... You saw, the rioters attacked some seminaries, worse than the Shah's regime attack on ‘Faizia’ seminary. The Takistan Seminary had such a situation. This indicates the depth of the hatred of enemies from the mullahs.”

He described the attack on government buildings, "They rushed into ... the office of some Friday Imams, the Islamic Propagation Organization, the Dispute Resolution Council.”

While ordinary Iranians suffer in poverty, a large portion of the country's revenues and capital is believed to disappear into the coffers of corrupt officials, resulting in resentment toward the Revolutionary Guards and the government. However, Khatami claims, "Even a rial of our monthly salary is not from state budgets," and "the salary of a mullah is between 500 and 600 thousand tomans ... below the poverty line.”

The recent budget, with hundreds of millions of dollars officially being spent under the guise of “Seminaries”, along with the huge amounts spent on the military and its training of non-Iranian fighters, was particularly infuriating to the public.

In the Friday prayer in Hamadan two weeks ago, Ghias al-Din Taha Mohammadi said that during the uprising, "about 60 offices of the Friday Imams were attacked.” The Friday Imams are representatives of Khamenei, who appoints them, and in most cities, information regarding crimes, robberies, and moral and financial corruption are in the their offices, so this is perhaps unsurprising.

The Friday Imam of Arak, Mullah Dorri Najaf Abadi, member of the Board of Directors of Assembly of Experts and former minister of intelligence, said on January 17th, "Our house was attacked and I was at home. In recent events, the age of the protesters was very low. The people who attacked our home, although they had covered their faces, were under 30 years of age and even under the age of 18; of course, I only say about the Central province."

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