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Iran Official Says Roots of Sedition ‘Still Strong’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C) and Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati (L), the head of the Iran's Guardian's Council, undated.

The chairman of the influential Guardian Council and speaker of the Assembly of Experts, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, says “sedition” has not yet been rooted out of Iran and a number of “neo-hypocrites” are attempting to keep it alive.

Jannati was referring to the controversial presidential election in 2009 followed by months of bloody unrest in major cities, including the capital, Tehran. The uprising against the re-election of Mahmud Ahmadinejad was labeled “sedition” by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He also used the word “monafeqin” or hypocrites, a term exclusively used by the ruling system’s officials for describing the dissident group the People’s Mojahedin Organization (MKO).

Ironically, one of Jannati’s sons, Hossein, was a member of the MKO and was killed in a street clash by Iranian security forces in 1981.

The so-called leaders of sedition -- former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi; his wife, Zahra Rahnavard; and former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, who challenged Ahmadinejad in 2009 -- have been under house arrest since 2011.

Citing Jannati’s speech in the city of Bushehr, southern Iran, the IRGC-run news agency Tasnim reported, “Sedition or the protests against the official result of 2009 presidential election was not focused on the election itself; it was designed to subvert the ruling system.”

“The sedition was designed by the Americans and executed by forces inside Iran, who wrongly imagined they were capable of bringing down the system through a Velvet Revolution, as the Zionist regime [Israel] did in Georgia by spending $10 million.”

A number of conservatives close to the supreme leader have apparently tried to stretch the label of sedition to the present time, so that they can exert more pressure on their opponents.

Jannati has also cautioned against “enemies” infiltrating Iran’s cyberspace, insisting, “The Islamic ethics, hijab, and chastity have been overshadowed [by infiltrators’ action] in Iran’s cyberspace.”