Rajavi: Khamenei takes final step to remove Rafsanjani from power

Mr. Massoud Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, described Khamenei's appointment of Rafsanjani as the head of the Council for the Discernment of the Exigencies of the State as a face-saving effort to remove him and his faction from power after the presidential elections in May when Rafsanjani's terms ends.

He added: By appointing Rafsanjani to this ceremonial post, Khamenei effectively and permanently casts him aside from the active political arena. In view of the new appointments to the Council, Khamenei's supporters constitute the absolute majority and Rafsanjani and his clique comprise an insignificant minority.

Mr. Rajavi affirmed that in light of Khamenei's position as the Vali-e Faqih (the supreme religious and political leader) and the authority given to him by the mullahs' constitution, regardless of its composition, the Council for the Discernment of the Exigencies of the State, plays no serious role whatsoever and meets only a few times every year. This body merely acts as a lever in Khamenei's hand, a point he stressed in the decree to appoint the new members, the NCR President stated.

Mr. Rajavi characterized Rafsanjani's imminent and inevitable removal from the helms of power as the biggest schism within the clerical regime following Khomeini's death. This would further destabilize the regime and escalate its internal feuding, he stressed.

The Iranian Resistance's leader noted that this major schism would further weaken the mullahs in their face-off against the Iranian people's Resistance and expedite their overthrow by the National Liberation Army of Iran. To confront this crisis, Mr. Rajavi emphasized, the religious, terrorist dictatorship ruling Iran would inevitably intensify the suppression at home and the export of terrorism and fundamentalism to the countries in the region. Already, the indications are becoming apparent, he said. something which is already obvious.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran - Paris
March 19, 1997

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