Intelligence Minister's absurd remarks aimed at containing internal crisis

As factional infighting and strife within the clerical regime aggravate and government newspapers and officials state explicitly that the attempted assassination of Saeed Hajjarian was the work of the rival faction, Intelligence Minister Ali Younessi tried to dampen the rising tensions today by making the ridiculous claim that Hajjarian "had been on the Mojahedin's hit list since March 1999 and had also been threatened by some radical and extremist internal forces."

In an interview with the official news agency, IRNA, the Intelligence Minister who is being sharply criticized by some factions within the regime for the apathy and procrastination of the intelligence and security agencies in following up the assassination attempt, emphasized that Hajjarian had rejected an offer by the State Security Council to provide him with bodyguards, thereby placing part of the blame on the former Deputy Intelligence Minister himself!

Younessi's emphasis that "the round-the-clock activities of the security and intelligence forces are ongoing to identify and arrest the assassins" come at a time when many government officials have said that the Intelligence Ministry could arrest the assailants in a matter of hours if it so wished. Government newspapers and officials have emphasized that Hajjarian's assassination during the morning rush-hour in downtown Tehran outside the City Council building and the gunmen's use of a motorcycle restricted by law to security agencies, was a "muscle-flexing" act by the rival faction.

Younessi's assertion that the Intelligence Ministry is investigating "the possibility of an internal origin, or threats by the Mojahedin, or foreign involvement" in Hajjarian's assassination attempt is reminiscent to the stupid remarks by his predecessor, Dorri Najafabadi, when after some of the serial killings in autumn 1998, he tried to implicate the Mojahedin, before the regime was forced to admit that the Intelligence Ministry itself was behind the killings.

The bloody turn taken by the gangster-style infighting between "torturers of the 80s" and "torturers of the 90s" and the spiraling aggravation of the internal crisis after the election masquerade are clear signs that the religious dictatorship in Iran is on its last legs.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 18, 2000

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