Inter-Tehran Rift Widens as Accusations on Reasons behind Protests are Traded

Inter-Tehran Rift Widens as Accusations on Reasons behind Protests are Traded

Friday, 12 January, 2018 - 10:00
The rift among Iranian officials widened as they contended motives behind the popular unrest. (AFP)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
The rift among Iranian officials widened as they contended motives behind the popular unrest, while senior figures insisted on accusing foreign parties of stoking the recent crisis, official reports pointed fingers at a decrepit internal environment.

Revolutionary Guards spokesman Ramadan Sharif went out to accuse the surviving relatives of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein of being involved in rising anti-regime demonstrations in Iran.

Reformist leader Mehdi Karroubi’s website "Sahamnews" published on Thursday the latest details on Expediency Discernment Council meetings on the Iranian demonstrations.

Quoting informed sources, the website posted reports of senior Iranian officials recognizing the internal situation to have escalated, in contrast to Iranian officials' accusations that foreign parties being behind the wave of protests.

A report prepared by the Secretary General of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaee, confirmed that the cause of the popular protests is general resentment of the current internal situation. The report confirmed. that there is no connection between the protests and foreign intelligence agencies.

Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei vowed on Tuesday to respond to the US, accusing Washington and other parties of standing behind the nationwide anti-regime protests.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani joined Khamenei in blaming external parties for stirring the protests.

But Rouhani partially turned down the volume on his accusations after being criticized by his reformist allies, who called for him to "seek the roots of problems within the Iranian borders."

According to Sahamnews sources familiar with Iranian Foreign Ministry adviser Mohammad Sadr, a serious warning was voiced on "the situation inside Iran," especially internal differences.

Sources also stressed the need for "internal unity and the lifting of house arrest of the two reformers Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

According to sources, the head of the Council of Experts left the meeting “in protest against those statements made by the adviser.”

Since February 2011, Tehran authorities have imposed house arrest on Mousavi and Karroubi after they refused to recognize the results of the presidential elections.

Last week, demonstrators chanted slogans denouncing policies instated by Iran’s leader and the cleric-led regime.

Demonstrations protested the systematic targeting of reformists and further consolidation of conservative movements.

More than 80 Iranian cities have protested against deteriorating living conditions before turning into political demonstrations demanding the overthrow of the regime.

At least 21 people were killed. More so, Iranian human rights activists said that over five of the 3,700 arrested by the authorities during the protests have died.

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