Clashes erupt between regime's rival factions during November 4 demonstrations in Tehran

Tuesday afternoon, November 4, the pro-Khamenei Ansar-e Hezbollah group attacked a demonstration staged by Khatami's supporters (The Office to Strengthen Unity) to mark the anniversary of the occupation of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979. They beat up many of the participants and disrupted the speech by Ali Akbar Mohtashami, the former Interior Minister, who is a confidant of Khatami and among the leaders of the Line of the Imam faction.

Behzad Nabavi, a close associate of Khatami, who was also at the rally, had to flee in a car early on when members of Ansar-e Hezbollah attacked him.

Personally responsible for many terrorist explosions in Lebanon, Mohtashami lashed out at the mullahs' leader Khamenei, criticizing him for not handing over, as a matter of routine, the command of the State Security Forces to the Minister of Interior. He accused Khamenei of "disrupting the work of the Executive Branch." Mohtashami also assailed the Khamenei-controlled state radio and television for censoring the news pertaining to Khatami.

He also denounced the expansion of the powers of the Council for the Discernment of the State Exigencies which is under Rafsanjani's control. This, he said, was against the law. In order to undercut Khatami's powers, Khamenei has continued to grant the Council more and more authority.

Meanwhile, Tuesday morning, Khamenei's faction held the official state ceremony across from the site of the former US Embassy. Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri, the Majlis speaker, lambasted Khatami's supporters and accused them of undermining Khamenei's leadership and the principle of velayat-e faqih.

The state of the clerical regime has become extremely feeble and fragile since the May 23 election sham which resulted in a troika leadership. Internal feuding among different factions have grown so intense that for the first time, Khamenei and the principle of velayat-e faqih have come under attack.

In yet another development, during last week's Tehran's Friday Prayers, Mohammad Yazdi, head of the Judiciary, threatened to arrest Tehran's mayor, Gholam-Hossein Karbastchi, and a number of members of Khatami's cabinet.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran - Paris
November 6, 1997

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