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IRGC Commander Calls For Legal Action Against The Rouhani Administration

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (C), Iranian President Hassan Rouhani(2nd R) and the top IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, in a religious ceremony in Tehran on March 2, 2017.

A top IRGC commander has called for legal action against President Hassan Rouhani and his administration, saying they have ignored the people's demands.

Former IRGC commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari who is currently the commander of the IRGC's Soft Warfare Headquarters told Tasnim news agency on Wednesday November 27 that Rouhani and his administration's behavior were the main reason for the recent wave of protests in Iran.

In April this year, Jafari, was appointed as the commander of the IRGC's soft warfare (power) headquarters Baqiyatallah which was established in 2016 as a “cultural” entity within the Guards Corps.

Jafari said on Wednesday the Rouhani administration officials dedicate a lot of time to negotiating with foreign officials but they do not spend enough time with the people of Iran to convince them about government policies.

Jafari accused the Rouhani administration of "lack of prudence" and of "ignoring the people."

Speaking about the protests that followed a sudden hike in the price of gasoline on November 15 during which at least 143 protestors were killed by

security forces mainly under the command of the IRGC, Jafari called for legal action against "those who have caused the protests by ignoring the people and paving the way for insecurity by taking bad decisions and implementing them poorly."

Jafari has attacked Rouhani at a time, when most people in Iran and abroad are appalled by the degree of violence Revolutionary Guards have inflicted on protesters. Moreover, the gas price hike was a collective decision of the three branches of the government and endorsed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

He further questioned Rouhani's slogan of "prudence and hope" and said that the administration's poor performance has left no hope for the people. Jafari then called on the Judiciary to confront with the Rouhani administration's "mismanagement and lack of prudence."

"The officials should be accountable in court for the decisions they make and the way they implement those decisions," Said Jafari.

Rouhani has been widely criticized by the press and social media for introducing the gas price hike that made the price of gasoline three-fold as a surprise. The new prices were announced at midnight without any prior notification.

Other reports say hardliner cultural figure Rahimpour Azghadi also called for Rouhani's trial at a High Cultural Revolution Council meeting last week, adding that subsequently Rouhani left the meeting before it ended.

In another development, possibly in order to distance himself from the controversy, Rouhani said on live TV on November 25 that he did not know

about the price hike announcement until the day after it was broadcast on TV. The press and social media lashed out at Rouhani following the remark and particularly criticized him for making the statement with a loud laugh, while a large part of the nation is still mourning the death of tens of young demonstrators in clashes with security forces.

The Rouhani administration is also being criticized for cutting off the internet to prevent news dissemination about the clashes.

Meanwhile, Jafari also criticized the Iranian Parliament (Majles) saying the it has been degraded. He said some members of parliament who are from Rouhani's camp threatened to resign after the gas price hike became controversial, "but they were not brave enough do so."

Jafari charged that members of the parliament have been justifying their inaction about the administration's poor performance by taking advantage Khamenei's support for the gas price hike.