Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Heightening Differences of Mesbah and Rafsanjani

Hamid Ahadi, Rooz Online:
While ultra-conservative cleric ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi has refrained from distancing himself from his associates who last week physically and violently disrupted ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s public talk in the city of Qom, a newspaper close to security services warned this cleric teacher of Qom Theology Center that he may end up with the same fate as ayatollah Shariatmadari or ayatollah Montazeri, both denounced by the regime and eventually pushed into forced exile. READ MORE

Jomhurie Eslami newspaper noted that in view of Mesbah Yazdi’s continuous criticism of ayatollah Khomeini’s co-thinkers and his harsh and violent approach, warned that the cleric, who is in charge of educational and/or religious centers, could end with the same fate as Hezb-e Jomhurie Khalgh-e Mosalman party (run by Shariatmadari) and Mehdi Hashemi’s band (a cleric who was given prominence by grand ayatollah Montazeri).

What is common between those two groups and the followers of ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi is their opposition to Hashemi Rafsanjani. Remnants of both groups attribute their current elimination from political life to be because of the events pursued by Rafsanjani and Ahmad Khomeini, the demised son of the late founder of the Islamic regime.

The newspaper also made other points. “What took place in the last presidential elections were the results of a conspiracy,” it wrote, declaring Yazdi to be the victim of his own inflated image who does not personally see himself bound by any ethics or morals.

An analyst with close ties to religious circles has said that while Yazdi does not enjoy support among clerics, his base rests with security and military elements supporting the current administration of president Ahmadinejad. He points out that recent attempts to put Rafsanjani and Yazdi on the same list of candidates for the upcoming elections to the Majlis Khobregan assembly that confirms the leader of the Islamic regime, have failed because of the hardline attitude of Yazdi. There is widespread suspicion and evidence that hardliners who now control the three branches of the Islamic regime wish to add the Majlis Khobregan to their portfolio, accomplishing it through the forthcoming elections.