In advance of the February 2016 elections in Iran for both the Majlis and the Assembly of Experts, and in light of Hashemi Rafsanjani's November 25, 2015 announcement that he will run for the Assembly of Experts, the power struggle between the pragmatic camp, which Rafsanjani leads, and the ideological camp, led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, has intensified. It now centers on two main focal points:
1. Iran's conduct vis-├á-vis the JCPOA. See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1204, Breaking Report: Challenging Khamenei, Rafsanjani Demands That Iran Fulfill Its Obligations Under The JCPOA, And Reveals: We Had Nuclear Option In Iran-Iraq War and MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1224, Khamenei Capitulates To Pragmatic Camp, Accepts JCPOA Without The Preconditions He Outlined In October 2015 Letter To President Rohani, February 3, 2016.
2. The Iranian regime's circling the wagons against the "American enemy" and against the "new fitna" within Iran, which it calls "the infiltration" - that is, the Rafsanjani camp which is calling for openness vis-├á-vis the U.S. and for Iran to implement the JCPOA. The ideological camp defines openness towards the U.S. as a way of allowing the Western-American "dagger" to penetrate, that is, to infiltrate Iran and to murder the Islamic Revolution. Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi and others have singled out Rafsanjani and his associates as those who are continuing to operate at home as "agents of fitna" of the U.S. and Britain, as cowards who are promoting the enemy's policy within Iran, and as morally and financially corrupt.
3. The regime's activity against the U.S. and the "new fitna" gives the ideological camp leverage over the pragmatic camp in the elections. The ideological camp is playing this up in advance of the elections and hinting that the outcome of the last presidential election, in 2013, was a grave failure that must not be allowed to happen again. The Khamenei-affiliated daily Kayhan is even preparing for the possibility that Rafsanjani's pragmatic camp will again triumph in the elections, and stated that such a development would be counter to the Islamic Revolution and its values, and must be prevented.
This report will deal with the ideological camp's alignment against the U.S. and the "new fitna" as represented by Hashemi Rafsanjani in advance of the elections set for two days from now.
Khamenei: Some In Iran Take Orders From The U.S., Persisting In Making It Look Good, So That The Americans Can Secretly Maintain Their Hostility And Stab Us In The Back When The Time Is Right
On November 3, 2015, on the eve of the anniversary of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Khamenei said to an audience of students: "[Even] after the revolution, the U.S. kept an embassy in Iran for quite a while, and also maintained relations with the Iranian government. But the Americans never stopped their hostility, not for a single day. This historic experience should teach some people that ties, friendship, and love cannot stop America's hostility and plots... The Americans cannot analyze the Iranian reality; they do not grasp it. Over the past 37 years, America has tried to fundamentally destroy the revolution - but, with God's help, they have failed, and will fail in the future as well.
"In the past few years, some people [hinting at Rafsanjani and his associates] have taken orders from America, or have been frivolous, persisting in... making it look good and acting as if the Americans were [once] Iran's enemies but have given up their scheming. These efforts are aimed at making [the Iranian people] forget their memories of the true face of the enemy, so that the Americans can secretly maintain their hostility, and stab us in the back when the time is right. In fact, America's aims with regard to Iran have not changed, and if they could destroy the Islamic Republic, they would not hesitate for a single moment - but they cannot... and this aim will not be realized in the future either..."
After the crowd's chants of "death to America" had died down, Khamenei continued: "The Iranian nation's slogan and chant of 'death to America' has a rational basis and solid logic. This slogan stems from the constitution, and from the fundamental philosophy that rejects crime and oppression. Its meaning is death to America's policy and arrogance; if we explained this logic to any nation [on Earth], it would agree with it."
In a speech to Basij commanders on Basij Day, November 25, 2015, Khamenei said: "Today, the American administration is a symbol of the arrogance's [i.e. the U.S.'s] hostility towards the Iranian nation. Today's main struggle on the global level is between the arrogant movement front, led by America, and the movement of values and the fundamental and national independence that are being led by the Islamic Republic of Iran. In addition to political organizations and apparatuses, the arrogance enjoys financial might and the support of large Zionist companies. In fact, the front of the arrogance is constantly plotting, using the triangle of money, power, and image. The arrogance's policy and diplomacy apparatuses are using the image [part of this] by smiling at you and embracing you as they plunge their dagger into your heart."
Poster Published On Khamenei's Website In November 2015
The poster below, published on Khamenei's website on November 15, 2015, stated: "There are those who insist on beautifying the Great Satan [America] by using traits worse than Satan's, in order to present [America] as an angel. Why [do they do this]? Religion and loyalty to the revolution aside, what about loyalty to the interests of the country? What about common sense? What sort of thinking and what sort of conscience allow someone to treat a power like America as a friend, [and to present it] as reliable and as a redeeming angel?" The quote is from statements by Khamenei on September 9, 2015.
IRGC Commander: The Fourth Fitna Is "Infiltration Fitna" - That Is, Some Officials' Tendency To Trust The West And Liberalism
At an anti-U.S. conference on November 2, 2015, the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Ali Jafari, said: "We have had one fitna for every decade of the revolution; each attempted to eliminate the revolution. The Iranian nation emerged with its head held high from each of these fitnas, and we are currently facing the fourth fitna.
"The first fitna was the imposed war [i.e. the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War]; the second was a cultural or security-political fitna... in the second decade of the Revolution [likely a reference to the 1999 student unrest]... The third was the [Green Movement] fitna of 2009 [following the presidential election], which was far more dangerous than the Iran-Iraq war...
"The fourth began on a nuclear pretext, and imposed economic pressure and sanctions on the people. The nuclear issue was just an excuse; it was not the enemy's real goal. The important thing for them [i.e. the Americans] was to bring Iran to the negotiating table. Just as the leader [Khamenei] said, negotiating with America will only do us damage - they are trying to infiltrate us via the talks.
"The fourth fitna is the 'infiltration fitna.' The Americans wanted the JCPOA more than we did - because they wanted to reach the post-JCPOA phase. This will be a danger and fitna if the belief emerges among the people that because an agreement was reached [with the Americans] on the nuclear issue, agreements can also be reached on other issues. In this new atmosphere, some officials consider, and incline towards, trusting the West and liberalism. This view has been around since the onset of the revolution, [and its proponents] believe that we must negotiate with America about other things as well. Mr. [Khamenei] sees this as the greatest threat [to Iran]. Some not only disregard their own statements and position regarding America's infiltration [of Iran], but even support this. Even though the Leader acknowledges that negotiations with America is infiltration... it seems that the fitna that begins after the JCPOA will be lengthy, and could last for years."
Kayhan: Rohani Government Should Stand Fast Against American Infiltration, Not Cooperate With It
In its November 10, 2015 editorial, the daily Kayhan warned against those who are collaborating with the "arrogance" - the U.S. - and demanded that the Rohani government heed Khamenei's warnings regarding a U.S. infiltration of Iran: "There is no need for the infiltrators to plant a bomb... Their aim is not just terrorism; their aims run deeper, such as disrupting the [Iranian regime's] decision-making [process], replacing friends [of the regime] with enemies and giving contrary advice on sensitive matters, and replacing [revolutionary] values with contrary values... as well as controlling the thoughts and wills of the politicians so much that they change them. They have a different method of persuasion for each and every [Iranian politician]...
"One of the main worries and concerns of the leader [Khamenei] is the issue of the enemy's infiltration of [our] culture, policy, economy, and security, especially in recent months. The leader has stressed that [regime] apparatuses must not become pawns of the enemy; [these apparatuses] must demonstrate a clear revolutionary position against the enemy and must not let the 'Great Satan [i.e. the U.S.],' which the people have pushed out the door, come back in through the window, or disrupt the beliefs of [our] society by infiltrating the decision-making centers...
"[President] Rohani said that there is no need to play with the term 'infiltration,' or to use it in a partisan manner. [Supreme National Security Council secretary Ali] Shamkhani said that in effect, the [recent] arrest [of journalists critical of the regime] was a settling of political scores... Members of the [Rohani] government did nothing in this matter other than speak this way and doubt this. Does this not place the government on the defendant's bench? Why should the Ministry of [Culture and Islamic] Guidance or other ministries support those who beautify the image of the 'Great Satan?'... Shouldn't ministries such as the Ministry of [Culture and Islamic] Guidance, Intelligence, Interior, Science, and Foreign Affairs be in the front line vis-├á-vis the [enemy's] infiltration, and [in response] infiltrate it deeply - or should they remain passive, to occasionally stand still and become the enemy's target? Is [the government's] passivity and neglect coincidental, or is it a trend?..."
Kayhan: Against Ties With The U.S., Against Muslim Leaders Who Betray Their People And Collaborate With Foreign Governments
Kayhan's November 8, 2016 editorial stated: "We would not be lying if we say that in the past two years the axis of all those loyal to the leader [Khamenei?] has been condemning America and its arrogant policy, and its allies... A week ago, in advance of November 4 [the anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran], the leader noted in a speech that the slogan of 'death to America' has a rational and legal aspect... Additionally, the leader clarified that our constitution expresses the slogan 'death to America'... In Article 150 of the constitution it is stated that 'the policy of the Islamic Republic [of Iran] is based on negating all colonialism and imperialism, maintaining the state's multifaceted independence and territorial [integrity], defending the rights of all Muslims, and not complying with the imperalist powers or maintaining peaceful relations with aggressive governments...
"The Koran stresses defending the honor of the Muslims... The Imam Khomeini defined this as something very important, writing: 'If commercial ties with infidels cause fear in the realm of Islam, it is a duty for all Muslims to abandon such ties. Here, it does not matter whether these [ties] with the enemy are political, cultural, or spiritual. If political ties between Islamic governments and foreign governments cause the infidels to control the Muslims, their policy, or their assets, or cause political captivity, there must be no such ties. The alliance that was formed must be dismantled and dismissed. All the Muslims must guide the[ir] leaders [at the same time] and force them to abandon such political ties, even by means of negative fighting.'"
Kayhan Editor: The West Is Telling The Iranians To Elect Candidates From The Pragmatic Camp - So We Must Vote For All The Candidates In The Ideological List
On February 22, 2016, four days before the elections, Kayhan editor Hossein Shariatmadari explained why the ideological camp is apprehensive about the handful of moderate candidates approved by the Guardian Council to run for the Majlis and Assembly of Experts: "Over the past 30-odd years, we have witnessed many instances in which the Guardian Council approved people [as candidates] for the presidency and the Majlis, and those people sold out the homeland and became servants of the stream of arrogance, working to destroy the regime and the nation. [These included ousted president] Bani-Sadr and [former prime minister] Mir-Hossein Mousavi [who ran in the 2009 elections and was accused of being a leader of the fitna], along with many delegates from the Sixth Majlis, who openly fled the country, obtained [foreign] citizenship, and flocked to the intelligence services of America, Europe, and the Zionist regime...
"Most candidates approved by the Guardian Council reveal only some of their thoughts and aims during the election campaign, so that the people will esteem them. A clear example of this is Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who revealed his true nature only after being approved, and left no doubt during the election campaign that he had received his mission from the British-American-Zionist triumvirate in order to carry out a rebellion [against the regime]...
"The propaganda of this current campaign clearly shows traces of this stream... Once again, obvious foreign enemies are standing in line to support this stream, and the official media of America, Britain, Germany, and some European countries are expressly supporting the election lists of this stream. They are even saying who we should and shouldn't vote for. And once again, much like in the fitna of 2009, these gentlemen [the pragmatic camp] express no opposition to them [these foreign enemies and their media]... but rather devote all their efforts to attacking [our] regime apparatuses, as well as the Guardian Council that keeps unqualified individuals out of the [regime's] decision-making centers and from making false allegations against the IRGC, which defends the people's security, life, property, and honor... If this stream enters the Majlis, it will seriously endanger the state's independence, honor, and security, along with the people's welfare and liberty...
"[However], the [ideological camp's] conservative coalition list can be a reliable bridge [over this danger]... These are people who have passed the test during [anti-regime] events and did not falter... It is essential that all the people on this list be elected - because failure to elect any one of them can leave the door open for certain unqualified people [i.e. from the pragmatic camp].
"Perhaps some would not agree to the inclusion of some of the [ideological] candidates in this list, and would prefer others... But noting the sensitive situation, we must set aside personal preferences for the good of a stream that is loyal to the principles of the revolution...
"Today, there is no room for insisting on a certain personal preference [in the election]... but we must relinquish [any such preference] in order to protect a loftier value."
Expediency Council Official: Oppose Those Influenced By The U.S. Who Cause Confusion Between Iran's Loyal Servants And Traitors To It
On November 5, 2015, Expediency Council official Mohammad-Hossein Saffar-Harandi said: "The same agents of infiltration that caused the martyrdom of [Ayatollah] Beheshti and 72 friends of the revolution [in 1981] currently serve America and take orders from it, in order to guarantee their own security... The Guardian Council will not allow elements with links to foreigners into the government or the Majlis [and will disqualify them]. We must appreciate this council, as it prevents political and security infiltration...
"Today, some argue that we cannot become an advanced [country] unless we become servants of America and the West. [Doing this would be] a culturally infiltrative move. Knowledgeable people in religious institutions and universities, and those who write and deliver [speeches] from public pulpits, should be informed about these issues, and must not allow infiltration. Those who mispresent the situation are paving the way for America [to infiltrate]. This is a dangerous viewpoint. If we can prevent infiltration, then we can increase the true capabilities in the country - because our young people and our scientists have already shown that they can improve our [missile and nuclear] capabilities...
"There are some who are not agents of infiltration but who are probably under [American] influence. They organize certain streams in order to cause confusion between [Iran's] loyal servants and traitors to it, and between friends and enemies, and who label those who resist excessive Western demands as extremists [i.e. members of the ideological camp]. They label as 'extremist' anyone who believes that the state should be administered by means of domestic knowledge and capability, and label anyone who wants to link the country's fate to foreigners as 'desirable and legitimate.'"
Iranian Army Deputy Chief Of Staff: Oppose Agents Of The Western Infiltration Who Beautify America
At a November 12, 2015 memorial ceremony for Maj.-Gen. Tehrani Moghaddam, the architect of Iran's missile system, Iranian Army deputy chief of staff Gholam Ali Rashid said: "There are those who are attempting to beautify the hated face of America, following the JCPOA. They are divided into two groups - the first comprises those who are frivolous and not traitors [and the second comprises traitors]. Some [regime] officials may be members of the first group, but some are agents of infiltration, and are traitors. We must resist both groups, because they seek to provide America with a foothold... Our stand against this is not out of geographic interests, but is based on Islam's stand against heresy."
Basij Commander: The Elements Of The 2009 Fitna Have Again Joined Forces With The Enemy To Oppose The Regime
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Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi said at a conference analyzing the 2009 post-election unrest: "The foreign enemy and those who usurp the country's treasures [i.e. Rafsanjani and his associates] banded together in 2009 to create these events. Today too, these people are plotting. The people have suddenly opened their eyes, and have seen that many, including some who were once officials in the country's leadership and held key roles, are inviting the people to oppose the regime. Even people connected to prominent and well-known families [hinting at Hassan Khomeini, grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini] called on the people to protest in the streets...
"The 2009 events had a domestic root and a foreign root. The domestic root comprised wealthy people attempting to preserve their power who needed external [i.e. foreign] support. Even though the Imam Khomeini said many times that regime officials should lead modest lives, they had amassed great fortunes [a reference to wealthy families such as the Rafsanjanis and the Karroubis].
"In the early days of the revolution, they rode around in Zhians [Iranian name for the Citroen 2CV, a very basic, common car] and they now have their own private six-story building in Niavaran [a luxury neighborhood in Tehran]. These people want to continue running the country at any cost. That is why they have formed a party, speak of human rights and freedom of expression, and claim that during some incident or other they stood with [Ayatollah] Khomeini.
"As for the foreign root: The revolution increased its stature vis-├á-vis America and expelled [America] from Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon... At first, America confronted us face to face, but had no results, and thus decided to select friends within Iran. It chose friends [i.e. Rafsanjani and the pragmatic camp] who are now engaged in covering up America's crimes.
"In its 2016 budget, America approved funds to destroy the [regime of the] Islamic Republic of Iran. But these people inside Iran do not mention this. They have even forgotten their oath regarding defending the rights of the people. Although we are the world's most democratic regime, our democracy is unacceptable to America, and the latter wants to make Iran democratic according to its own wishes...
"Why are they [these people in Iran] silent in the face of such American moves? Why do some newspapers publish the smiling faces of American criminals - while if some [Iranian] revolutionary figure speaks and the newspaper dislikes his words, they will publish a photo of him looking grim. Aren't these [media] people considered mercenaries? The funds approved in America reach these newspapers... Those who are plotting in order to deceive the [Iranian] nation should learn a lesson: The ones who have doubts should also come back to the people. Our eyes should always be on the leader [Khamenei] in order to be saved from fitna."
Basij Commander: The Agents Of Fitna Among Us Are Pinning Their Hopes On The Superpowers, Set No Boundaries For The Foreign Enemy, Have A Reputation For Creating Fitna, Are Cowards Who Fear The Enemy, And Are Morally And Financially Corrupt
Basij commander Naqdi said on February 23, 2016 that the heads of the pragmatic camp, Rafsanjani and Rohani, are continuing to operate as agents of the U.S. and Britain inside Iran, are cowards promoting a defeatist policy favoring the interests of the superpowers, and are financially and morally corrupt. He called on the Iranian public to "thwart England's wishes" for the outcome of the elections, following a BBC analysis of the candidates, which he said meant that Iranians should vote for the pragmatic and reformist candidates. This, he said, was an example of the "infiltration fitna" that Rafsanjani and his followers are promoting within Iran.
He said: "These are the people who are preparing the ground for the infiltration. Their religious faith is weak, they pin their hopes on the superpowers, and they set no boundaries for the foreign enemy. They have a reputation for creating fitna and have challenged the [Iranian] people and regime in the past [here he is accusing Rafsanjani and his associates of creating the fitna in 2009]. They are cowards who fear the enemy and they have been punished for moral and financial corruption [referring to Rafsanjani's son who is serving 25 years in prison for corruption].
"The diplomacy of the [Rohani] government in the last two and a half years must be criticized... What sort of policy is it to say, while talks [with the U.S.] are at their peak, that America can destroy all our armed forces with the push of a button, [as Rohani said]? Instead of presenting themselves as strong, these people present themselves as weak. Had America been capable of doing so, it would have destroyed Lebanon. [But it cannot do so], let alone destroy the armed forces of Iran...
"This creeping infiltration [of Iran by the enemy] is aimed at changing our way of thinking, that is, our worldview, our goal, and our way of life. That is, [it is intended to make us] think like America thinks. After the JCPOA, America has become even more savage than it was before.
"There are those who are completing the infiltration project [from within Iran]. Some of them call the [members of] the religious [camp, i.e. the ideological camp] 'extremists' only because they criticize [America and the pragmatic camp] and tell the truth. [Khamenei] said that calling the Basij 'extremist' means completing the infiltration.
"The public in Tehran and Iran is not such a corpse that the English and the Queen of England should decide our list [of candidates] and tell us who to vote for and who not to vote for. We must be vigilant and thwart England's wishes [referring to the BBC analysis]."
Former Intelligence Minister: The Enemy Is Busy Identifying People And Streams In Iran So As To Choose Which To Use To Harm Islam And The Revolution
Heydar Moslehi, intelligence minister under President Ahmadinejad, said on January 7, 2016: "The new fitna will be revealed in the social infrastructure. This fitna aims at [eliminating] the foundations of the revolution and harming the country's economy... The enemy has plans for the coming elections and wants its infiltration plan to bear fruit. Those who are formulating this plot want Iran to stop being a [role] model... The stream of arrogance intends to infiltrate [Iran] and to create fitna... [This time,] millions will not be drawn to the streets like in the 2009 fitna... Rather, in this new fitna, some will take to the streets to make their demands and others will say 'let them express this.'
"This fitna will be complicated... [since] they will no longer tear up pictures of the Imam Khomeini, because they have already recognized what the public [i.e. the regime] is sensitive to... Another attribute of this new fitna is that it will not be possible to identify it at first...
"The enemy today is busy identifying people and streams [in Iran] in order to see which to use to harm Islam and the revolution. In this situation, unless the nation is vigilant, it will be slapped by the enemy. The Iranian nation must not lose the path of Imam Khomeini. The third and fourth generations of the revolution, which have not internalized the Imam [Khomeini], can turn to his writings, which outline the characteristics and methods of resisting the arrogance and [conducting] foreign policy. Today there are those who only tell about their past experiences [hinting at Rafsanjani] and we do not know whether these experiences are true or false. Some have abandoned the writings of the Imam [Khomeini] and rely only on these tales of past experiences, and this leads the young generation to lose the [revolutionary] path... That is why everyone must know that the Imam desired the pure Islam of [the Prophet] Mohammad and the elimination of America."
IRGC Official: Those Who Deny That There Is Infiltration Are Paving The Way For The Enemy To Infiltrate Iran
Yadollah Javani, senior advisor to Khamenei's representative in the IRGC, said on November 10, 2015: "All the evidence points to an enemy plot to infiltrate Iran's inner circles... [But] in Iran, there is the [pragmatic] stream that is attempting to deny this danger...
"Several months ago, leader [Khamenei] mentioned the danger of the enemy's infiltration during the Ahl Al-Bayt World Assembly, saying: 'Their [i.e. the U.S.'s] intention was to turn the talks and the nuclear agreement into a tool of infiltration. We have blocked this path, and will not allow infiltration.'
"The body of the Iranian nation has large wounds inflicted by foreign enemies... This means that the West and the imperialists have longstanding experience in infiltrating Iran... From the 1990s onward, the Iranian nation has witnessed a new generation of forces that are serving foreigners and trying to please enemy interests... During different periods, such as the 'reforms' [the era of President Khatami] these forces increased... Foreigners used their agent and created the 2009 fitna.
"Six years have passed since the fitna of 2009 and now, after the JCPOA, America wants to infiltrate Iran. After a long period during which America had severed its ties with Iran, it has reached the conclusion that the best way to harm Iran and the Iranian nation is to infiltrate it... The same journalists and social media that once denied the enemy infiltration and the 2009 fitna and supported fitna elements are denying the enemy's infiltration plot now [as well]. In recent years, they have promoted Western values in the media, the universities, the arts, etc. They readily accept funds from foreigners and enemies, and write in favor of foreigners in their newspapers.
"Therefore, the nation should be vigilant and know that those who deny and downplay the infiltration are actually the main people paving the way for this enemy infiltration. The nation should be sensitive about those who pave the way for the foreign infiltration, and should beware them. They must demand that the elements concerned deal seriously and legally with this stream and its main players."
Majlis Official Zakani Attacks "Fitna Agent" Rafsanjani
Alireza Zakani, head of the Majlis Special Commission for Reviewing the JCPOA, made a series of statements attacking Rafsajnani, and accusing him of being an agent of the American fitna who has betrayed the values of the revolution:
Zakani Hints At Rafsanjani: There Is A Fifth Column in Iran Working For The U.S.; The JCPOA Is A Tool For U.S. Infiltration Of Iran
On November 12, 2015, Zakani said: "Iran's primary enemy is America. America is the 'Great Satan' and is full of crimes and plots... Iran has chosen the path of truth, and in accordance with the philosophy of the Islamic Revolution, it devotes all its efforts to purging the region of elements that are subordinate to the regime of arrogance [i.e. the U.S.]...
"Today, the enemy's efforts are entirely focused on infiltrating [Iran], since this is its best and cheapest way to harm the revolution. The enemy cannot promote its infiltration project without its fifth column, because without these people, the infiltration project will have no impact...
"The leader [Khamenei] looks at the current situation and defines schism as the central factor that leads to deviating from the path of Islam. This schism mainly stems from figures [hinting at Rafsanjani] who have a revolutionary past and who have relinquished the [revolutionary] values, but say nothing about this to the people and instead continue delivering speeches and relating their past experiences. The enemy's current goals in infiltrating [Iran] are to beautify America and rid the [Iranian] people of their negative beliefs regarding the American enemy, to make the people despair of their [revolutionary] values, to create schism in society, to cause the people to be displeased, and to pit them against the regime and the revolution... The enemy wants elements dependent on Westerners and people fostered by Westerners to be in charge of the elections. That is why, beginning in 2009, the regime of arrogance has paid special attention to the ballot boxes, since the enemy believes that ballot boxes hidden from the regime could be the entry point for its infiltration...
"Unlike some domestic elements, the enemy looks at the JCPOA from a perspective of infiltrating the regime, and tries to present it as a role model... The leader [Khamenei] made up for the deficiencies [in the conduct of the Majlis] vis-├á-vis the JCPOA, with his warnings and conditions. If we look at the JCPOA according to the conditions of the Majlis, the leader, and the Supreme National Security Council, we can deny the enemy [its ability] to infiltrate [us], and if we do not, then the JCPOA will become a paved avenue for the enemy's infiltration...
"Some yearn to deal with regional issues like [they dealt with] the JCPOA and [wish] to hold talks with America. But the regime will not allow it... The elections for the Assembly of Experts is one of the axes to which great efforts are devoted in order to infiltrate [Iran]... If we do not heed this infiltration, then it will spread to the entire body of the regime, and will be beyond healing. But if we pay close attention from the start, then we can control it. On this level, the worst cancer is American thought and the elements tied to it.
"The enemy infiltration expands to culture, policy, economy, and security, but some [regime] officials are not sensitive to this and have [even] opened the gates to the enemy. Even while certain institutions are sensitive and arrest certain people in accordance with the law, some raise a cry over it, because these [officials] require a crisis in order to continue existing, and their interests contradict those of the nation.
"Moderate groups have become active in order to play a part in the Majlis elections. Reformists want 50 influential delegates in the Majlis, and that will constitute an active minority. All this is conditional upon the Majlis being held by the pragmatic stream. With this track, the gentlemen want to take [leading conservative politician] Nategh-Nouri and [Majlis Speaker Ali] Larijani for themselves."
Zakani: Rafsanjani Falsely Claimed That Ahmadinejad Bought Votes In 2009 And Falsified Election Results; Rafsanjani Said We Wanted Nuclear Weapons; He Is A Fitna Agent Who Wants To Compromise With U.S.
On December 28, 2015, Zakani said: "Today we are facing a great difficulty, and if we do not pay close attention to it, then we are not fulfilling our duty to preserve the heritage of the revolution, the leadership, and the people. Thus far we have confronted America six times... In 2009, America targeted the principle of the revolution... After that, America imposed harsh sanctions on Iran... In 2009, America received signs from within the country [i.e. the protests following the elections], and during the 2009 fitna, America imposed smart sanctions [on Iran]...
"In the 2009 election, we established a six-man committee, heard the arguments and objections of those who claimed that the 2009 election results were falsified, and spoke with them directly. We met with [former Majlis speaker Mehdi] Karroubi, [Mohsen] Rezaei, Hashemi Rafsanjani, and [Mir-Hossein] Mousavi. They were the only ones who opposed the election [results] in 2009. They had no proof that the results were falsified... Rafsanjani said bad things that cannot be repeated. He claimed on behalf of Rishhari that 15 days prior to the elections, Ahmadinejad collected votes, and that on election day, he paid 50,000 toman to people in order to purchase their votes. We dealt with this issue, and Rishhari never even said such a thing.
"America and Europe were bogged down in the nuclear PMD [Potential Military Dimensions] issue. Rafsanjani claimed that in the past and in the 1980s we had wanted nuclear weapons. How do the people benefit from this statement? Does this statement satisfy the hungry bellies of the people? ... After the JCPOA, as the leader said, America intensified its... infiltration... The current fitna is more dangerous than the 2009 fitna...
"There are two worldviews for Iranian [regime] officials. One believes in the banner of the Imam [Khomeini], which is currently in the hands of the leader [Khamenei]. This is a jihadi worldview of pure Islam that the leader has identified and that he implements for us... The second worldview is that [of the fitna elements] who say that we must compromise with the 'head of the village' [nickname for the U.S. used by Rafsanjani] and world rulers to achieve peaceful existence. This is a painful view.
"The fitna today is greater than in 2009. Its domestic agents are the ones who hold this second view... Had the leader not intervened during the [previous] periods of fitna, who knows how many wars we would have had during those years.
They [Rafsanjani and his associates] say that the Rule of the Jurisprudent should become a [leadership] council - this is the worldview of the second group... Today some want to take vengeance on the Imam [Khomeini] and on the revolution... A greater fitna is coming, and the people should be wise and not allow the leaders of this rebellion to achieve their goals and rejoice."
Zakani: Rafsanjani Is A Political Opportunist And A Sinner Who Has Abandoned The Values Of Khomeini's Revolution
In an interview on November 2, 2015, Zakani said: "On the revolutionary level, to this day Hashemi [Rafsanjani] has a certain characteristic that stems from the following observation: Prior to the revolution, on some topics - including support for the munafiqin ['hypocrites' - nickname for the Mojahedin-e-Khalq] - Rafsanjani did not properly [share] the Imam Khomeini's [position]... When you compare Rafsanjani's path to the philosophy of Khomeini and Khamenei, you find many errors.
"In my opinion, Rafsanjani's main problem is that he sees himself as just and [measures] everything in relation to himself... At every turn, he says things that [only] serve his own interests... Why, in the 2005 and 2009 [presidential elections] did Hashemi [Rafsanjani] stand against the people's votes and say that 'there was a forgery?' The people's vote was unacceptable to Hashemi and therefore he does not see it [as valid]. He only accepts the people's vote when they vote for him... [In addition,] some of Hashemi's sons were [involved in] economic corruption that did lasting damage to Iran...
"There is substantial daylight between Rafsanjani's and Khomeini's philosophies on sanctions and the U.S., and therefore Rafsanjani has no right to represent Khomeini's... He must repent before God. Thus far we have not spoken to the people about Hashemi. But from now on I have decided to speak to the people about him and relate his many sins that have done great damage to the regime...
"In my opinion, Rafsanjani has lost his abilities and has developed a problem of greed... Hashemi made a claim regarding the conduct of Mahmudi Rishhari... But Rishhari said that he never said any such thing. While Hashemi's memories appear to be like this, it is evidence that they are unreliable. He recently spoke of [Iranian] nuclear bombs in the 1980s. This was and still is exploited by foreign media outlets. Can anyone who is vigilant and wise speak this way and create problems for the state? America said that [Syrian President Bashar Al-]Assad used chemical weapons... and Hashemi responded and said 'Assad must not kill his people like this.' Subsequently it was revealed that it was actually terrorist elements who had killed people with chemical weapons... Had Hashemi been vigilant, he would not have spoken this way.
"We must reexamine him. Statements like this indicate that Hashemi lacks wits and vigilance. Hashemi should take another look at his inappropriate behavior and opinions."
Regime Forces Prepare To Take Action Against "Agents Of Fitna"
In mid-November 2015, Gen. Mohammad Bagher Zolghadr, strategic deputy to the head of the Iranian judiciary, said: "The Basij can resist and neutralize the enemy infiltration. The Basij defense force is considered one of the most important elements in the national might. The Basij is a 20-million-strong army... that showed steadfastness during the difficult days of the revolution."
Iranian Army deputy chief of staff Masoud Jazayeri said on December 21, 2015: "The Iranian nation stands in opposition to America's strategy to weaken the leader. A close examination of soft warfare indicates serious planning by the regime of arrogance against the leadership in Iran... The sad thing is that some in Iran are party to the enemy's policy, strategy, and machinations. They present bold views influenced by foreign principles or Western thought... There is complete synergy between the foundations of the Iranian regime and the principle of the rule of the jurisprudent. Those who see this as unacceptable [hinting at to Rafsanjani] should not occupy a position in the regime. The vigilant and revolutionary people cannot allow these people to be brazen, and the people will deal with them at the proper time."
At a conference marking the December 30, 2009 suppression of the unrest, Jazayeri said that at that time, the people had wisely eliminated the fitna in the creation of which America had invested wide-scale intelligence, cultural, and security efforts: "The failure of the 2009 fitna did not herald the end of the serious hostility of wealthy Zionists against Iran. The important thing is to find new methods of implementing fitna. One of America's methods in its struggle with the Islamic Republic of Iran is to ceaselessly attack the regime's supreme leadership... [But] the people are still on the scene and do not fear resisting those who want to harm the revolution's principles and values. This way, they will block this new fitna.
"The regime does not [feel] uncomfortable regarding people who rely on their past [i.e. Rafsanjani], who give themselves immunity and plot against the Islamic Revolution. In the 2009 fitna, the [regime's] attitude towards some of the heads of fitna [Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who have been under house arrest since 2011] was soft and conciliatory, [but] if this happens again [in 2016], the wise Iranian people will no longer forgive them."
 This fitna was described by Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy committee member Ahmad Bakhshayesh as follows: "The Leader speaks of [American] infiltration and warns the officials. The Leader's [warning] was addressed mainly to elements of the regime wishing to create ties with America.... In our country there are two lines of thought: One is resistance to the arrogance [i.e. to the U.S. championed by the Leader; and the second is ties with America like with any other country without fear of infiltration by it, which is championed by Hashemi Rafsanjani and President Rohani." Fars (Iran), November 8, 2015.
 Farsi.khamenei.ir, November 3, 2015.
 Farsi.khamenei.ir, November 25, 2015.
 Khamenei.ir, November 15, 2015.
 Farsnews.com, November 2, 2015.
 Kayhan (Iran), November 8, 2015.
 Kayhan (Iran), February 22, 2016.
 Entekhab (Iran), November 5, 2015.
 Tasnimnews.com, November 12, 2015.
 ISNA (Iran), December 27, 2015.
 Tasnim (Iran), February 23, 2016.
 ISNA (Iran), January 7, 2016.
 Javan (Iran), November 10, 2015.
 Mashregh (Iran), November 12, 2015.
 Former intelligence minister and associate of Khamenei.
 Fars (Iran), December 28, 2015.
 See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No. 1204, Breaking Report: Challenging Khamenei, Rafsanjani Demands That Iran Fulfill Its Obligations Under The JCPOA, And Reveals: We Had Nuclear Option In Iran-Iraq War, October 28, 2015.
 See MEMRI TV Clip #3967, Iranian Expediency Council Chairman Rafsanjani: Syrians Were Bombed with Chemicals by Their Own Government, August 29, 2013.
 Tasnim (Iran), November 2, 2015.
 Tasnim (Iran), November 15, 2015.
 Fars (Iran), December 21, 2015.
 Tasnim (Iran), December 28, 2015.