Archive for the ‘Hardliner’ Category

Behind the Scenes

June 26, 2009

http://original.antiwar.com/sahimi/2009/06/23/irans-election-drama/

Section of article entitled, “Iran’s Election Drama More Elaborate than you Think,” by Muhammad Sahimi.

“Ayatollah Khomeini’s death had another long-term consequence whose effect is felt today. It made it possible for a reactionary Islamic group to reemerge. The group, called the Hojjatiyeh Society, was founded in the 1950s and was fiercely opposed to the Bahai faith and the Sunni sect of Islam, and it even worked with the shah’s secret service to stymie the spread of Communism in Iran. It also opposed the 1979 Revolution and Ayatollah Khomeini’s concept of Valaayat-e Faghih (governance of the Islamic jurist), the foundation of Iran’s constitution and political system. Ayatollah Khomeini banned the Hojjatiyeh in 1983 and famously said of them that ‘they cannot run even a bakery, let alone a country.’

After its reemergence in the early 1990, the name Hojjatiyeh was never used. Its members began advocating an Islamic government led by an unelected supreme leader, rather than an Islamic Republic. Their present leader is Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, a hard-liner and reactionary cleric who has openly opposed any meaningful elections and is Ahmadi-nejad’s spiritual leader.

Ayatollah Mesbah, as he is called in Iran, once said, ‘It does not matter what people think. They are ignorant sheep.’ He believes that the supreme leader is selected by God, and the task of the ayatollahs who are members of Iran’s Assembly of Experts (a constitutional body that chooses the supreme leader) is to discover him. Former reformist president Mohammad Khatami has referred to Ayatollah Mesbah’s followers as the ‘shallow-thinking traditionalists with Stone-Age backwardness.'”