Khatami: Opposing velayat-e faqih is opposing the system's raison d'etre

In an obvious retreat in the face of attacks by Khamenei's faction, mullahs' president Mohammad Khatami stressed the need to conform to the principle of velayat-e faqih (supremacy of religious leadership), during his trip yesterday to Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari Province.

Khatami reiterated on the state-controlled television that "velayat-e faqih is the axis and pillar of the state," adding, "velayat-e faqih is the raison d'etre of our state. As such, opposing it... is to oppose the fundamentals and pillar of the state." "No state would tolerate assaults on its principles and pillars," he said.

Khatami also condemned slogans in recent weeks by different sectors of society, including students, against the totality of the regime and especially against the leaders of the ruling faction. He said: "I really find slogans in different gatherings, including at the Friday prayer congregations, religious seminaries or university centers ... as being very dangerous... The Majlis is the symbol of popular legitimacy of our state. If we do not like a bill or a decision by the Majlis... we have no right to insult or undermine it... All attitudes and tendencies should work to safeguard and strengthen the state and secure the sanctity of its leader and pillars."

Previously, the rival faction had demanded that Khatami clarify his position vis-a-vis slogans by Tehran University students against the Majlis speaker and their call for the dissolution of this body.

Khatami's comments yesterday and his humiliating retreat reaffirm that he is part and parcel of the ruling theocracy. Any expectation for change from within this medieval dictatorship is only a mirage as the clerical regime lacks any capacity to reform.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
July 5, 1998

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