Revolutionary Guards' top brass threaten Khatami
-Khamenei steps up attacks on mullahs' weakened president

The publication of a threatening letter addressed to the clerical regime's President Mohammad Khatami by 24 top commanders of the Revolutionary Guards signals a new push in an ongoing offensive launched by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei against his rival faction. Despite Khatami's appearance on the state television last week and his pledge to suppress the demonstrations and the suppressive directives issued by the Supreme National Security Council under his chairmanship, Khamenei's faction has made the letter public. The power struggle within the clerical regime is thus surging out of control.

The Guards commanders said in their letter that "today group after group of the [Mojahedin] and our enemies are joining the fray in the name of students" and warned Khatami: "Seize the moment today, for tomorrow will be too late and remorse will be irreparable." They went on to issue a direct threat: "Our patience has run out and we cannot allow ourselves to put up with this any more should the matter fail to be addressed."

GC Major General Gholam-Ali Rashid, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, GC Brig. Gen. Aziz Jaafari, commander of the Guards' Ground Forces, GC Brig. Gen. Mohammad-Baqer Ghalibaf, commander of the Guards' Air Force, GC Vice Adm. Ali Ahmadian, commander of the Guards' Navy, GC Brig. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Guards' Qods (Jerusalem) Force (responsible for terrorist and military operations outside Iran), GC Brig. Gen. Hossein Hamedani, deputy commander of Bassij (the Guards' paramilitary forces) and commanders of the Guards' different headquarters ad divisions were among the signatories to the letter.

The publication of the letter a week after it was written further proves the point that Khatami has been the biggest loser in the events of the past two weeks in Iran. Khatami acted in full complicity with Khamenei in ordering the bloody suppression of popular demonstrations and student protests in Tehran and other cities and aroused much anger and revulsion among the Iranian people. But despite such efforts, he could not prevent the rival faction from continuing to make gains in the power struggle within the regime.

The National Council of Resistance reiterated in a resolution adopted during its session in April: "If the mullahs' Supreme Leader does not intend to surrender, then he must settle the [mullahs' internal conflict] in a definitive way before the end of Khatami's term in office (in May 2001). In the absence of a political solution inside the regime, the conflict between the two factions will have to be settled before that deadline in a violent manner and through the methods used by Khomeini. Whatever turn events may take, the final outcome will only be the overthrow of the mullahs' regime."

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
July 20, 1999

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