Analysis by PMOI/MEK
Feb. 17, 2019 - In a lengthy and virtually empty message on February 13, Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei announced the “Second Phase of the [Islamic] Revolution”! And under the disguise of the “Second phase of self-developing and civilization-building,” he addressed everything except for the imminent threats and crises of the Islamic Republic, including but not limited to the Warsaw summit, wide-spread popular discontent and an explosive mood throughout the society, economic fallout, the JCPOA and FATF impasse, etc.
And Khamenei’s blind-eye for his regime’s most important questions comes at a time when FATF’s ultimatum for Iran to pass the necessary bills into law to conform to international monetary transparency standards is just a few days away and the fate of the related bills is stuck in a quagmire of infighting between the different factions of the ruling elite.
The major part of Khamenei’s message was propaganda about imaginary technological, economic, and scientific achievements of the Islamic Republic on the world stage. Khamenei ridiculously claimed that his regime’s fast scientific development has surprised the world and its acceleration is eleven times higher than the global average in scientific development. One can be sure that if anything, Khamenei has at least moved the record for preposterous lies, creating an altogether new league where even Nazi Germany’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels must catch up.
Khamenei also used the opportunity to snipe at Rouhani’s faction and said: “Although some misled people in the country sometimes say and write that, it is totally wrong and an unforgivable mistake to believe that economic difficulties solely result from sanctions and the solution is to kneel before the enemy and kiss the paws of the wolf.”
Most importantly, Khamenei dodged the hot issue of the FATF bills and let the opposing factions fight it out, which could have dire consequences for the whole regime in terms of stability and tensions.
Meanwhile, Mahmoud Vaezi, chief of staff to Iranian regime president Hassan Rouhani, said about today’s session of the Expediency Council, where the fate of the FATF bills will be decided: “In the cabinet meeting some points were raised about this issue and the concerned ministers and officials brought a fundamental line of reasoning forward, saying that the Expediency Council needs to fully understand our current situation in the world and the pressures that the U.S. puts on Iran. This situation needs to be fully explained to the members so that the decision that this council makes does not increase the pressure on the people.”
“Some officials said that considering the climate that some banks have created, if the FATF bills are not passed into law, these pressures will increase. Therefore, if a decision is made, the responsibility for its consequences must also be accepted,” he further said.
Vaezi’s statements ignited a strong response by Khamenei’s faction who considered it a threat against the members of the council who oppose the bills.
“When the Expediency Council believes that a bill’s damages are more than its benefits for the country, it will absolutely act upon the interests of the country, not based on its consequences or the responsibility for its results,” said Mohsen Mojtahed Shabestari, member of the Expediency Council.
It is worth noting that the Iranian regime’s Majlis (parliament) has already approved the anti-money-laundering bills. But the 12-member Guardian Council, the body that oversees the conformance of parliamentary bills with the regime’s so-called “Islamic” laws, has disapproved them. Today, the Expediency Council has to take sides and decide which party will have its way.
Keyhan newspaper writes: “Why don’t the president’s chief of staff and the cabinet members in general reiterate the importance of discussion and persuading the [expediency] council’s members, instead of threatening them to be responsible for future problems? Does the government think that this type of literature and actions will impact the opinion of members of the council?!”
It looks like Khamenei doesn’t feel like intervening and saying something, despite the political fallout, and his mandate as the primary decision-maker in all matters of importance to the state.
It’s abundantly clear that Khamenei sees better than anyone else the consequences and costs of the current impasse, but fact is that the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader, who regime officials describe as “The Pole of the Regime’s Tent,” just hasn’t enough clout anymore in his tyrannical empire’s latest stage of overextension or decline.