Iran's Fundamentalists Seek to Reinstate Their Police State
LONDON, August 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Last week's impeachment of Reza Faraji-Dana as President Rouhani's science minister is a reminder as to how weak his government can be in the face of dealing with the pressure of Iran's fundamentalist political factions, as well as revealing the depth of these factions' attempts to bring back their despised police state rule.
Among the many electioneering slogans that Rouhani pursued in his presidential campaign last year, "ending the atmosphere of fear and repression in Iran's academic institutes" most attracted the attention of the Iranian voters, as Iran's university students and the educated elite have been a constant thorn in the side of the country's fascist-type Islamist radicals for voicing the nation's aspirations for democracy and human rights.
Although Faraji-Dana did not fully represent these sections of the Iranian society in terms of their just demands, he however purged members of Iran's intelligence and security communities from decision-making levels in academic centres, as well as exposing the massive corruption in the ministry's grant system that had illegally given millions of dollars to the families of Ahmadinejad's officials and the Revolutionary Guard top brass.
It therefore came as no surprise to the nation that most of the MPs who had called for Faraji-Dana's dismissal had in fact been named in the list of receiving these fraudulent grants - but as usual, in a regime that survives through hypocrisy and deceit, they had argued that their move to impeach him was because the minister had been implementing "pro-Western liberal policies" in Iran's universities!
Not appearing in person in Majles (parliament) to defend his minister against a barrage of contemptible accusations in a display of his dithering stance towards the reckless tactics of his conservative opponents, Rouhani has now appointed Mohammad Ali Najafi, a reformist politician, as the caretaker science minister and has commissioned him "to carry out the policies of Faraji Dana".
The behind-the-scenes involvement of the authoritarian (and strangely muted) supreme leader Ali Khamenei in the impeachment fiasco became crystal clear during the Majles debate as all the MPs who spoke against Faraji-Dana claimed that the minister "has not succeeded in satisfying the Leader during his one year in office".
The Rouhani administration may have lost a member in a power struggle with the conservative factions of the regime, however, going by the authoritarian nature of his opponents, his other key cabinet members in the foreign and culture ministers will be next in line for a further showdown in Iran's medieval leadership structure as the embattled president seeks to restore Tehran's relations with the West and lift some of the repressive domestic policies.
Iran's fundamentalists are not the opponents of Rouhani alone, they are effectively the adversaries of the Iranian people who have voted him into office, rightly or wrongly, to stop their return to power.