Move to impeach Khatami's Interior Minister aggravates mullahs' power struggle

The impeachment motion against Khatami's Interior Minister, Abdollah Nouri, now in progress in the mullahs' Majlis (parliament), was planned last week in a secret meeting of leading figures in Khamenei's faction, according to reports from Iran. Mohammad-Reza Bahonar, a leader of the faction and a member of the Majlis leadership, was given the task of collecting the necessary documents against Nouri.

Nouri's impeachment, coming in the wake of the trial of Tehran Mayor Gholam-Hossein Karbaschi and the closure of several pro-Khatami publications, signals a fresh offensive by Khamenei against Khatami and his faction and marks a serious escalation in the internecine infighting within the clerical regime. Khatami has personally intervened to save his beleaguered Interior Minister.

Majlis Speaker Nategh Nouri has expressed confidence in private discussions that Nouri would not acquire the necessary vote of confidence in the Majlis session on Sunday, June 21. He has made it known that so long as Nouri remains the Interior Minister, Khamenei will not give him the command of the State Security Forces. This has become a thorny subject for the regime at a time of growing public protests, popular uprisings and Resistance operations in different parts of the country.

Several members of Khatami's cabinet, including Education Minister Hossein Mozaffar and Telecommunications Minister Mohammad-Reza Aref, are reported to be voicing privately their dissatisfaction with Nouri's policies. Khamenei's aides say that after a vote of no-confidence in Nouri, Islamic Guidance Minister Ataollah Mohajerani would be the next cabinet member to be impeached.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
June 16, 1998

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