Khatami's new appointments reaffirm continued repression and terrorism
New ministers say national security is priority

Mullah Mohammad Khatami named as his deputies another six of the regime's veteran officials who played some of the most significant roles in the past 18 years in repression and export of terrorism.

Massoumeh Ebtekar, named as Khatami's deputy and head of the organization for environmental protection, was one of the three main students involved in the occupation of the American Embassy in Tehran and the hostage taking of U.S. diplomats in 1979. Subsequently, she was actively engaged in export of terrorism and repression of women. She last served in the women's section in Rafsanjani's office and headed the bureau for coordination among non-governmental organizations.

Mullah Abdolvahed Moussavi Lari served in Khomeini's office for years and was a member of the Association of Combatant Clerics (Majma-e Rouhanion-e Mobarez, formerly known as the Line of the Imam [Khomeini]). This faction holds the most totalitarian views on domestic policy, export of terrorism, and state-controlled economy and has demonstrated hysteric enmity to western countries.

Mohammad Hashemi, Rafsanjani's brother, was one of the founders of the regime's Intelligence Ministry. He headed the state-run radio and television and has been one of the top officials in charge of censorship. Along with Mohajerani, Khatami's Minister of Guidance, he was a member of the committee set up in Tehran in 1993 to plot the assassination of Arafat.

In another development, Ali Khamenei, the mullahs' leader named Ali Akbar Velayati as his advisor in international affairs.

The regime's official cabinet therefore has to practically compete with three other cabinets taking shape around Khamenei, Rafsanjani and Khatami, himself. The presence of such parallel centers of power in the troika leadership of the mullahs' regime will seriously and rapidly weaken the system in its entirety.

At the same time, Khatami's ministers of Interior, Defense and Intelligence in interviews yesterday with the state television expressed their alarm at the outburst of public protests by stressing the need to strengthen national security.

Qorban-Ali Dorri Najafabadi, Minister of Intelligence, pointed out the need to expand the regime's information gathering crew to a "60-million strong Intelligence network." Abdollah Noori, Minister of Interior, set security affairs prior to his ministry's urban construction duties. Referring to the Resistance, Ali Shamkhani, Minister of Defense, also stressed on his duty to create security in the borders "to counter the enemies."

With Khatami's cabinet beginning its work, power struggle has intensified among the various factions of the mullahs, reports say. In addition to his own instruments of exerting influence as Vali-e Faqih, Khamenei is forming "parallel cabinets" to increase his meddling in government affairs. Velayati's appointment as advisor in international affairs is part of this policy.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran - Paris
August 24, 1997

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