Guards Corps Commander in Chief: We must cut off some heads and tongues

In an interview, Rahim Safavi, Commander in Chief of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, acknowledged the escalation in popular protests across the nation, warning against any protest which would undermine "national security." He declared, "Our youths chant slogans against despotism... We must uproot the counterrevolutionaries, where ever they are. We must cut off the heads of some and cut the tongues of some others."

In his interview, Safavi also accused Ata'ollah Mohajerani, Mohammad Khatami's Guidance Minister and government spokesman, of undercutting national security. He also blamed Interior Minister Abdollah Nouri for the unrest in recent days and weeks in Najafabad, in the central Isfahan province.

Safavi's comments bespeak of a new phase in the power struggle within the mullahs' regime which is characterized by violence and physical elimination. They also testify to the fact that fearful of its inevitable overthrow, the regime will resort to the most brutal forms of repression.

In his April 18 address to the National Liberation Army combatants, the Iranian Resistance's leader, Mr. Massoud Rajavi, underscored that the dire consequences of Khatami's election was affecting the regime in its entirety like a "chalice of poison." Mr. Rajavi also declared that the phase for the overthrow of the mullahs' regime had arrived and that it was necessary to prepare for it.

Safavi's comments in Qom were also intended to intimidate and terrorize clerics and theology students whose opposition to the regime and particularly to Khamenei, has been increasing by the day, undermining his position as the vali-e faqih as never before.

In a clear reference to Khatami, the Guards Corps CIC assailed the "policy of d'tente" and "dialogue among civilizations." Criticizing the regime's signing of international covenants on nuclear and chemical non-proliferation, Safavi tacitly admitted that the clerics were intensely involved in the production and stock-piling of weapons of mass destruction and were seeking to procure nuclear arms.

Safavi's remarks come after the regime's leaders, including Khamenei, Rafsanjani, Khatami and Nateq-Nouri had in recent days emphasized one after the other the need to maintain unity in the face of "the threat posed to the regime from the other side of border."

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
April 29, 1998

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