Iran’s judiciary has joined forces with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC, against President Hassan Rouhani, warning of a “new sedition”.
Sedition is a term used by Iranian conservatives close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to refer to street protests against the re-election of ex-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.
The new round of attacks against Rouhani increased when he complained of the dominant presence of “a government armed with guns in Iran’s economy”, a clear reference to the IRGC’s ever-growing economic empire.
Rouhani’s criticism was so explicit that it forced the IRGC Commander to deliver a sharp response.
General Mohammad Ali Ja'afari reportedly said that if a government is “without guns” it would be “humiliated by the enemy and will be forced to surrender”.
Referring to the row between the two sides, judiciary’s spokesman, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ezhe’i warned against the prospects of a "new sedition".
“Based on my experience, as an individual who has been present in the executive and judiciary branches, from the advent of the Islamic Revolution until today, I say that whenever there is a smearing attempt against the IRGC, some perilous actions are in the making,” Ezhe’i said in his June 30 speech before Tehran’s Friday prayers main sermon.
Presenting some examples of what he called “attacks” and insults directed at IRGC, including comments made by the Islamic Republic’s first president, Abolhassan Banisadr, Mr Ezhe'i warned against moves intended to tarnish its reputation.
Ezhe’i further said: “Banisadr (1980-1981) [wrongly] thought that people had voted for him. He did not know that people voted for the system’s president. He used to tarnish and smear the reputation of the “Komitehs” [or committees -- disciplinary patrols that enforced Islamic law during the first years of the 1979 Revolution].”
Meanwhile, attacks on Hassan Rouhani by the Supreme Leader and his camp on various issues have lately intensified, as reflected in the slogans and banners during Qods Day. Videos emerged on social media from Friday’s ceremonies with some demonstrators chanting slogans against Rouhani saying “Rouhani, Banisadr, happy union to you.”
Today, Rouhani is criticized on almost all fronts by Ayatollah Khamenei. The leader famously rebuffed the president in a public ceremony, saying he should heed his own decrees, especially as far as the country’s struggling economy is concerned.
After Rouhani’s re-election this May, the war of words between the president and ayatollah Khamenei and his allies has significantly intensified.
Rouhani is particularly unhappy with IRGC’s interference in Iran’s economy.
IRGC is involved in hundreds of companies in various economic sectors; from construction to services and the oil industry of Iran.
Now the judiciary has clearly joined forces with the IRGC, which does not come as a shock, given Khamenei's total control of the state's third branch.