The removal of Khatami's Interior Minister, coming in the wake of the public trial of Tehran's mayor, Gholamhossein Karbaschi, and the closure of several pro-Khatami publications, fits within an extensive offensive by Khamenei's faction against its rivals. It signals the faction's increasing preparations for a larger confrontation in next October's elections for the mullahs' Assembly of Experts.
Mr. Rajavi stressed: The removal of the cabinet's senior minister despite all the frantic efforts by Khatami and his public pleas for the retention of the Interior Minister showed once again that the clerical regime cannot tolerate the slightest deviation from the "central dogma" of velayat-e faqih and absolute rule of the clerics. So long as this medieval theocracy remains in power, all expectations of change from within the regime are absolutely unrealistic and devoid of truth.
Mr. Rajavi added: Khamenei's faction is already preparing its next moves to impeach other cabinet ministers, especially Khatami's Minister of Islamic Guidance. All the recent positions taken by Mohajerani in support of media censorship and increased cultural inquisition have not placated the rival faction and they have not changed their plans.
The NCR President described today's developments as a clear indication of the aggravating power struggle within the clerical regime and stated: "No one can now deny the fact that the mullahs' triumvirate leadership has been a 'chalice of poison' and has had devastating effects on the clerical regime. The considerable impact of the Resistance's operations against the most important centers of suppression and terrorism in Tehran has considerably aggravated the mullahs' crises and precipitated the trend of the regime's inevitable overthrow.
Mr. Rajavi pointed out that a year after Khatami's election, all the policies which attempted to hastily appease the regime by sending it "good-will gestures" at the expense of the Mojahedin have ended in utter failure. Any investment in this dictatorship, which is reminiscent of the shah's regime in its final stage, will only yield losses and nothing else for the investor. Mr. Rajavi called on all governments to condemn decisively the suppressive and terrorist crimes of the mullahs and sever all diplomatic and trade ties with this anti-human, faltering regime.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
June 21, 1998