Sunday, March 26, 2006

Larijani: Anything to Protect the Islamic Regime

Maryam Soleimani, Rooz Online:
In his Thursday’s unpublicized and informal meeting in the Majlis (Iranian parliament) and a briefing of the latest development on Iran's nuclear file, Ali Larijani, the chairman of Iran's National Security Council tried to convince the MPs to come to a joint agreement with the activities of Iran’s nuclear team. While the spokesman of the minority reformist faction in the Majlis criticized Larijani for providing the MPs with irrelevant and incorrect information, Haddad Adel, the hard-line speaker of the Majlis harshly reacted towards such criticism and asserted that reformists had turned the nuclear issue into a serious political crisis. READ MORE

Larijani's presence in the Majlis sparked protests, sarcasm and criticism from reformist MPs who accused him of providing conflicting information on the negotiations with the Russians. Larijani had initially claimed that the Russians has accepted to complete enrichment activities in Iran, while later denying it. The MPs also scrutinized Larijani's stance on accepting Iraq’s Abdol-Aziz Hakim to talk with the US. The majority of the MPs said that talks with the US would not be possible unless Iran's supreme leader threw in his support, which the Majlis MPs would then concur.

Larijani continued his briefing and said that protecting the Islamic regime was the highest consideration. According to him, this had been stated by the leader of the Islamic Republic ayatollah Khamenei as well.

Emad Afrough and Haji Babaiee, two prominent MPs in the conservative faction also commented on Thursday's meeting. Afrough not only criticized the position of critics that weaken the Islamic regime's key policies but also scorned the contradictory position of senior foreign policy officials involved in Iran's nuclear issue. In his implicit support of Iran's turning point in its foreign policy and acceptance of negotiations with America, Haji Babaiee called on Larijani to adopt measures in the Supreme National Security Council that would ensure less criticism in future for such changes in foreign policy.