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Despite Calls For Ceasefire, War Of Words With Rouhani Continues

Iran Attorney General, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri speaking in a meeting, undated.

Besides killing and imprisonment, we confronted crimes, Iran attorney general, Mohammad Ja’afar Montazeri, has said.

Ignoring recent calls for a political ceasefire with President Hassan Rouhani by some politicians known in Iran as the conservatives, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp, IRGC, top commander and Iran’s Attorney-General have renewed their attacks on the incumbent president.

At a press conference, on Saturday, July 1, Mohammad Ja’afar Montazeri, bitterly criticized what he labelled as “tarnishing the reputation and weakening the judiciary”, Iran Students News Agency, Isna, reported on Sunday.

“If it is asked ‘what have you done in the past 37 years beside killing and imprisonment?’; we say the justice department duty is fighting with crimes. Had it not been for the judiciary’s confrontation, the nifaq [hypocrisy] would have not been uprooted.”

Hypocrisy is the terms used by the Islamic Republic officials for describing the anti-regime organization, the People’s Mojahedin or MKO.

The Attorney-General was referring to Rouhani’s comments during May 19 presidential election campaigns.

Rouhani was implicitly targeting his main challenger Ebrahim Raisi, who held several senior positions at Iran’s Judiciary in his tenure, deputy chief justice, attorney general and prosecutor of Tehran to name a few.

Raisi, alongside Rouhani’s minister of justice, Mostafa Pourmohammadi and two other clerics, Hossein Ali Nayyeri and Morteza Eshraqi were members of a committee, later branded as “Death Quartet”.

In the summer of 1988, appointed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the quartet condemned thousands of prisoners to death while they were doing their terms. Many of the victims were buried in unmarked mass graves.

Referring to this record, on May 8 this year, Rouhani said, while campaigning in the city of Hamadan: “People of Iran declare that they do not accept those who, for the past 38 years, did not know anything but execution and incarceration.”

One day before the Attorney-General’s remarks, the judiciary’s spokesman, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ezhe’i while enumerating what he called “smearing judiciary’s reputation”, predicted: “A new ‘sedition’ is in the making.”

“Sedition” is term used to refer to the bloody protests against reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

While the war of words was already waged between the Judiciary and Rouhani’s administration, on July 22, in an implicit reference to the IRGC, Rouhani had also complained about delegating a big chunk of Iran’s economy to a government that “has guns, as well as media and nobody dares to compete with it.”

That remark had also prompted a harsh response from IRGC’s commander who dismissed Rouhani’s comments as “unfair”.Meanwhile, he asserted: “We sacrifice our lives for Iranian people; therefore, it is not that difficult for us to humbly tolerate these biting words.”

So far as the IRGC’s history is concerned, it has not usually tolerated comments it does not condone, words it seems offensive, demeaning; or threatening whoever the person has been.