Khamenei's faction prepares to oust Khatami's Interior Minister

The power struggle between the regime's rival factions, which these days have spilled over to street clashes and confrontations between their "student" supporters, further escalated with the demonstration yesterday of Khamenei's supporters in front of the Tehran University. The demonstrators called for the interpellation of Khatami's Interior Minister, Abdollah Noori, by the Majlis. They accused Noori of "politically motivated appointments" and dismissal of governors affiliated with the rival factions.

Reports from within the regime indicate that governors ousted by Noori hold meetings to gather every available document and prepare for summoning the Interior Minister to Majlis and in this way deal a blow to Khatami. This faction has assigned a three-man team of its members in Majlis to prepare for the interpellation.

Two days ago, Ressalat, a newspaper affiliated with Khamenei's faction, expressed the view that Noori "does not enjoy the minimum competence, neither in management nor in politics and security. Majlis must quickly make its decision about the Interior Minister, before some bitter incident takes place."

Noori is being assailed while he criticized Mohammad Yazdi, the pro-Khamenei head of the Judiciary, only a few days ago, accusing him of being "very abusive," "hysterical," "contradictory," and "a source of tension within the regime." Noori said "there are ambiguities [in the work of the Judiciary] which must be addressed."

On the other hand, Daftar-e Tahkim-e Vahdat, a pro-Khatami group which protested the disqualification of its candidates for the by-elections last week, announced yesterday that it would boycott the upcoming elections.

The developments in recent days clearly show that the clerical regime is incapable of reform and it can no longer tolerate its own internal factions.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 10, 1998

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