Sunday, August 23, 2009

Rebuttal to world headlines: Hashemi-Rafsanjani DID NOT concede to Khamenei's orders; he ordered Khamenei what to do.

This is one of those ironic instances when the headlines of Voice of America (VOA)  and the Islamic Republic's News Agency (IRNA) read the same:

"Hashemi Rafsanjani asks all to abide by orders and guidelines of the supreme leader!"

But, both of these news snippets (as well as those coming from BBC and other IRI-hating sources) factor out the contextual subtleties of Hashemi's statements.

Therefore I consulted Hashemi's official web site to find out if my theory (that Hashemis' trying to get back the wheel of power under his control, by keeping up the appearance of the supreme leader, while secretly advising the supreme leader on how to save his wasted status)  holds water.

This is the official announcement on Hashemi's web site: I color code words that are critical to subtextual message of this statement.
HEADLINE: Again, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani counted shift from sensationalism to rationalism the way to cross through the crisis. The media and different tribunes should prove, in practice, their loyalty to the "unity-centric view of the leadership".
This is the headline which is sanctioned by Hashemi's news channel; i..e. his official web site. The subtlety of this headline is in word "again", which means re-iteration of Hahsemi's previous prpoposed solution. the second subtlety is in reiteration of the situation as crisis. But most important is that he is addressing the "media" to abide by leader's command to unity. Remember that presently, the media is under full control of the conservatives; with the last reformist news paper "Etemad-Melli" being ordered shut! Previously too, Hahsemi had criticized the bias of media (i.e. the state television) in false representation of the facts.

BODY: In presence of the majority of the members, The head of The Expediency Council, again reiterated that the passage through current problems becomes possible by shift from sensationalism into rationalism and emphasized: The media and different tribunes should prove their loyalty to leader's unity-centric vision in practice.
The meeting of The Expediency council was held on Saturday, with majority of its members in attendance. At the beginning of the meeting, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani congratulated the start of the holy month of Ramadan, month of feasting with divinity, month of spiritual self reflection and social justice; and expressed hope that in the spiritual light of this divine month should lead to strengthening unity and conciliation.
He pointed out the necessity of increased compassion and unity of the officials with the people, to enable passage of the country through its internal and foreign problems and stressed: "acting with wisdom, principle and due diligence will make this into an attainable and practical objective." 
Hashemi Rafsanjani stated the essentiality of  respecting leader's orders and guidance; creating appropriate situations to abide by the constitution beyond group interests; opposing deviation from the law and confronting the law-breakers from either side[keep in mind that in the past few month, the law-breakers have been the Khamenei rookies!], replacing the emotional atmosphere with a rational one, and creating an environment for free criticism, reasoning and providing legal and reasonable responses to fair criticism in current situation; and added: "if these conditions are met, then the impact of the foreign media who is often tainted by colonial intentions will diminish and attention to local news sources will increase and the confrontations on the surface of the society and between different factions will move to media and internal news sources." [i.e. he is emphasizing freedom of press, again.]
In conclusion, the head of the expediency council emphasized that the guidelines of the supreme leader with respect to recent arrests, compensation for those whose rights have been violated, and punishment of the out-laws [i.e. the torturers] open a way through current problems and said: "All, in any position, must abide by these [principles] and those with tribunes, influence and media [again this is addressing the current rulers] have to avoid divisionism, labelling [referring to Ahmadinejad and Keyhan news paper's campaign of defamation], controversy; and help unity and reconciliation of the society.
He expressed hope that the independent and elite members of the Expediency Council will be the first to walk in this path."
So the highlights of his statements are not "everyone should say yes to leader" BUT

  1. Leader wants unity (even if he doesn't, Hashemi's publicly forcing him to say he wants unity) THEREFORE, we shoudl listen to his orders for unity!
  2. No one is above the law (including the president)
  3. Free press (to prevent impact of foreign propaganda)
  4. Compensation for those whose rights are violated 
  5. The expediency council should set the tone of reconciliation (on his right sits the new head of the judiciary; and his left the speaker of parliament; to the right of Larijani sits Mohsen Rezayee, the founder of the revolutionary guard. Usually, it was Ahmadinejad who sat to the right of Hashemi. Unusually, he was not present in this meeting ...)
Hashemi has not deviated, even an inch from his Friday-prayer sermon! Instead, he has made a powerful alliance with the new kids in the block, the Larijani brothers, while kicking Ahmadinejad out of the elite loop.

Here you may listen to his actual speech.
(he is warning about the upcoming September-Pressures by the  5+1; he is stressing that we need to regain unity to face the upcoming internal channel; starts by emphasis on respect for constitution by not only people but also officials; emphasizes need for debate and talking especially in press; "for now, as much as I thought, I concluded that the best solution is Leader's orders re arrests, protests, prisons"; avoid creating headline-making controversy; the Expediency council should be exemplary and in leading roles.)

It's very short indeed! And there is no SL-ass kissing in it what so ever! However, I should emphasize that the statement I translated from his web site is significantly more "elaborate" than his actual opening. And indeed, according to this voice file, he just gave an opening statement; and not a speech.


Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

Thanks for this clarification.

Hopefully the "reactionaries" will read and understand!

German said...

Thank you very much for your careful reading of the text and for drawing your [persian-illiterate]readers' attention to these relevant particulars. Your interpretation seems higly plausible. No wonder, that people who are not careful (readers) often create havoc (I remember the one or the other surgeon having taken off the wrong leg or even a completely wrong limb) - no insult intended of course.

F said...

Thanks for that, great post. It was my understanding that Ahmadi doesn't usually come to these meetings? Is that the case? Not that it has that much effect on Rafsanjani's words. Thanks.

Naj said...


You're welcome.

Actually, according to the photo archive of fars-news (Ahmadinejad-backing news agency) Ahmadinejad is participating in these meetings.

Something that has been on the agenda of this particular meeting was a dispute between the parliament and the guardian council about some form of "freedom of infomation act". I didn't know much about the background of that dispute so I didn't talk about it here, but I am keeping an eye and ear open to see what's happenng in teh subcurrents of power struggle in Iran.

It is FAR from obvious!

David said...

It is interesting to read your point of view here Naj. Watching CNN yesterday, they were predicting that the IRI was about to arrest and put on trial Mousavi, Karroubi, Khatami, and possibly even Rafsanjani. However, if you are right, and I am inclined to think you are, then the power struggle is far from over, and may even be heating up with the advantage tilting toward Rafsanjani.

I am gaining an impression of Rafsanjani that he is something like a chess master who can slowly and methodically paint his opponent into a corner from which there is no escape. I have a similar impression of Vladimir Putin.

Khamenei is a very different sort of man. I have seen him get very emotional, sometimes angry, other times crying.

I think that the more Rafsanjani turns the screws on Khamenei, the more that Khamenei will behave like a petulant frustrated child. If this happens, it will only add weight to the argument that Khamenei is no longer worthy of the position of Supreme Leader (not that he ever was).

Naj said...

Well David,

Khamenei has certain psychological characterists of an artist; he suffers Nero's madness every now and again. I fear he may burn Rome to inspire himself!

My various relatives have been in close contact with him, during his exile years, they recall him to have been mercurial!

Tahir said...


Can we have some clarification:

Are you a crook?


Naj said...

Tahir, please ask the question on rupert's web site.