New counterattack by Khamenei's faction against Khatami

228 members of the mullahs' Majlis (85% of the deputies) wrote a letter to the clerical regime's leader Ali Khamenei, today, declaring their support for the Guardian Council and non-revision of its suprevisory role in determining the competence of candidates for elections.

The letter represents another serious political blow by Khamenei's faction to the rival faction, especially since Rafsanjani's supporters have reportedly signed the letter as well.

Some time ago, Khatami's faction had presented a bill to the Majlis, calling for a revision in the authority of the Guardians Council and its supervisory role.

Lashing out at Khatami's faction, last week, mullahs' leader Ali Khamenei flatly rejected any such a revision, adding, "The wrangling [about this matter] is among baseless arguments that lack any roots. It is designed to undermine the Guardian Council and place elements who oppose Islam, the Imam [Khomeini] and the state, in the country's legislative body."

Consisting entirely of pro-Khamenei members, the Guardian Council has the task of determining the competence of candidates for different elections in the clerical regime. As the sixth Majlis [parliamentary] elections draw closer, this issue has aggravated the regime's internal conflicts.

Recognizing his weak and fragile position as he begins his third year in office, in a speech in the city of Qom on May 26, Khatami bowed to Khamenei, underlining that laws not approved by the "esteemed members of the Guardian Council" cannot be enacted as law.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
June 1, 1999

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