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Iranians Demand President Rouhani's Execution, MP Says

Iran -- Iranian Member of Parliament from the city of Qom, Mojtaba Zonnouri, undated.

The Chairman of the Iranian parliament's influential Commission for National Security and Foreign Policy, Mojtaba Zonnour, said that President Hassan Rouhani deserves to be executed a thousand times a day, and that the Iranian people would agree with his views.

In a tweet on Friday, Zonnour wrote, "The Rt. Hon. Rouhani; if you are justifying negotiations with the enemy by arguing that Imam Hassan reached a peaceful agreement with Mu'awiyah to respect the majority of people's demand; the overwhelming majority of the Iranian people today will not be satisfied with less than your dismissal, and the Supreme Leader of the Revolution should order to execute you one thousand times."

Shi'ites' second Imam, Hasan ibn Ali (624-670 CE), was elected for the caliphate after his father's death, but abdicated after six or seven months in favor of his opponent Muawiyah I, the founder of the Umayyad dynasty.

In a speech on October 14, Rouhani had referred to the events of the advent of Islam, insisting that Imam Hassan made peace with Mu'awiyah because "the overwhelming majority of society and people" wanted peace.

Rouhani's critics immediately described the remarks as a prelude to his willingness to negotiate with the United States.

Zonnour criticized Rouhani for the remarks, adding that if "we were to act according to most people's opinion," Rouhani should be condemned to death because the majority of people are dissatisfied with his performance.

Another fundamentalist member of the Majlis Islamic parliament, Mojtaba Rezakhah, also tweeted that Rouhani had misinterpreted Islamic history.

Rezakhah went further by saying that Rouhani had also earlier used another Islamic event -- the martyrdom of Shi'ites' third Imam, and Hassan's younger brother, Hussain ibn Ali -- to lift the sanctions on Iran.

The sanctions not only remained intact, Rezakhah argued, but the value of the Iranian national currency, the rial, dropped tenfold against the dollar.

An influential Friday Prayer Imam, Ahmad Alam ol-Hoda of the city of Mashhad, in northeast Iran, also asserted that Imam Hassan's peace agreement with Mu'awiyah had nothing to do with the people's demands.

"The 'insiders' and 'people accomodating to the enemy' betrayed the Shi'ites' second Imam," Alam ol-Hoda added.

Comparing and linking Iranian-U.S negotiations with Imam Hassan's peace accord with Mu'awiyah have a long history in Iranian political literature.

Last May, after the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted in Persian about "Imam Hassan" and called him "the bravest personality in the history of Islam," there was much speculation whether the tweet was paving the way for negotiating with the United States.

Responding to the speculations, a news website linked to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Tasnim, said that according to Khamenei, since Iranian society was unaware of the facts and Imam Hassan's close allies and insiders were treacherous, he was "forced" to come to terms with Mu'awiyah.

"Ayatollah Khamenei does not consider Iran's current situation similar to the period Imam Hassan made peace with Mu'awiyah," Tasnim reiterated.

In a speech in early July 2015, Rouhani also invoked the historic peace made in the year 661 by his namesake, Imam Hassan, to step down in favor of Mu'awiyah and prevent a new war between the then-emerging Sunni and Shiite sects. "Imam Hassan made an important decision during difficult circumstances that could have destroyed the Muslim community," Rouhani said, praising Imam's decision as "heroic flexibility."

Following his words, fundamentalists and close allies of Khamenei blasted Rouhani with a barrage of criticism.

Nevertheless, days later on July 14, 2015, with the approval of Khamenei, Iran joined with other world powers to sign the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement.

However, with President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the JCPOA in 2018, Rouhani's critics have asserted that the current situation could not be compared with Imam Hassan's time, about 1400 years ago.

In its editorial last Thursday, the fundamentalist daily Resalat referred to the same argument, writing that Rouhani neither understands politics nor religion.