Mullahs' power struggle intensifies on eve of impeachment motion against Khatami's Interior Minister

With the mullahs' Majlis (parliament) set to consider tomorrow an impeachment motion against Khatami's Interior Minister, Abdollah Nouri, the official news agency, IRNA, has quoted a senior advisor to Mohammad Khatami, the regime's president, as saying that the rival faction's leaders "are not even dismissing military options as a means of toppling Khatami."

The remarks by top Khatami aide Behzad Nabavi alluded to an extensive plan devised by the Khamenei faction's leaders to confront Khatami and his entourage, according to reports from Iran.

Nouri's impeachment has marked a serious escalation in the infighting within the clerical regime. Khatami has been making frantic efforts behind the scenes to retain his Interior Minister. In a meeting with Nouri and the Interior Minister's deputies and advisers on Thursday, Khatami said: "There is no doubt that Mr. Nouri's absence in the cabinet will result in important losses for the country and the government."

Khatami urged Majlis deputies that "in view of the sensitive situation and constraints facing the government, the result of the impeachment motion would be the reinstatement of the honorable Minister of Interior."

According to reports from inside the mullahs' regime, the Khamenei faction has presently the upper hand in terms of votes in the mullahs' Majlis, but the indecision of a group of deputies has kept the outcome of the vote of confidence in Nouri in balance. Khamenei supporters have said 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 highly sensitive issue 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.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
June 20, 1998

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