Khatami further retreats in the face of rival faction
Guidance Minister underscores need to increase media censorship

Mullahs' President Mohammad Khatami reaffirmed his loyalty to religious despotism. He said today: "In our constitution, the principle of velayat-e faqih (absolute clerical supremacy) is the pillar of the state. It is not simply a theory of jurisprudence alongside other such theories."

Stating his support for remarks by mullahs' Leader Ali Khamenei two weeks ago, he emphasized: "We advocate the kind of freedom which would stabilize society and not cause anarchy." Some time ago, he had emphasized that "anarchy is much more damaging than dictatorship."

At the same time, appearing before a closed session of the mullahs' Majlis today, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance and government spokesman Ata'ollah Mohajerani told the deputies that a monitoring task force to censor the press must be set up to "close the environment on those who want to exploit [the current situation." This task force, he added, should "through its monitoring... restrict those who violate religious and revolutionary foundations [of society]."

When the daily Toos was ordered to close down, Mohajerani underscored the need to restrict the media and said: "If I were a member of the press jury, I too would have authorized the closure of this paper."

Today's remarks by Khatami and his Guidance Minister demonstrate the extent to which Khatami's rhetoric about "civil society" and "rule of law" is baseless and that as far as the fundamental rights of the Iranian people are concerned, leaders of the theocratic regime ruling Iran do not in any way differ in their commitment to suppression and export of terrorism.

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

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