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Iranian official warns against continued infighting among regime factions

Alireza Panahian, the deputy commander of the regime’s plainclothes agents in the Ammar Garrison
Alireza Panahian, the deputy commander of the regime’s plainclothes agents in the Ammar Garrison

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, September 15, 2019—During this week’s Friday prayers, where mullahs in different Iranian cities reflect the views of the Iranian regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, Alireza Panahian, the deputy commander of the regime’s plainclothes agents in the Ammar Garrison, Tehran, revealed the general fear of the Iranian regime from the exacerbating public outrage and the ramifications of the intensifying infighting among regime officials.

“Some people are trying to take advantage of the elections to polarize the society. We have some MPs who are calling for the ‘Tunisification’ of Iran,” Panahian said, referring to upcoming elections in the regime’s Majlis (parliament). “Shouldn’t the Guardian Council or the judiciary take action against [candidates] who are openly calling for strife?” The Guardian Council is the body that, among others, oversees elections and makes sure all candidates are completely loyal to the ruling regime.

Panahian referred to candidates who had openly encouraged people to take money from their rivals and refrain from voting for them. “If such a thing happens, the [Guardian Council] should pull the red card,” Panahian said.

Also in his comments, Panahian, who has close ties to Khamenei, slammed regime president Hassan Rouhani for recent remarks about the threat of polarizing the society. “I’m surprised that in one speech, he is polarizing the elections and at the same time he is warning about the threat of polarization.

In a recent speech in a cabinet meeting, Hassan Rouhani had implicitly accused his rivals of sowing dissent among the ranks of the regime and called for unity across all regime officials and factions.

In past months, as the Iranian regime’s domestic and international crises grow more severe, regime officials have been constantly warning about the threat of the situation spinning out of control. Of special concern is the explosive state of the Iranian society and various protests that have been ongoing in different Iranian cities despite the regime’s widespread efforts to stifle the voice of demonstrators and force them to back down from their demands.

In the recent month, the regime’s judiciary has doled out harsh sentences against protesters and activists in hopes of dissuading others from taking to the streets. But every day, people from different segments of the Iranian society gather in demonstrations to claim their most basic demands, such as unpaid wages and pensions.

Meanwhile, the continued rivalry and infighting at the highest levels of power in the Iranian regime are limiting its capacity to contain protests and maintain its hold on power.


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