On June 2, we featured a leaked video reinforcing evidence of intervention by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps to ensure the “right” candidate won Iran’s 2009 Presidential election. Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari told officers that, because of the “red line” that reformists must not return to power, the contest should not go to an “unpredictable” second round between President Ahmadinejad and challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi.
Last Tuesday, the regime finally responded to the video, posted on the Facebook page of dissident filmmaker Mohammad Reza Nourizad. Ali Saeedi, the Supreme Leader’s representative to the IRGC, did not deny the authenticity of the footage or Jafari’s attention to the 2009 vote, but he said the commander’s supposed admission had been “edited”.
Far from ending the discussion, Saeedi’s response only fuelled it. The cleric did not anticipate that, a day later, his own summary of the IRGC’s intervention — made at the same event as Jafari’s address — would appear on Nourizad’s Facebook page.
The footage establishes that the IRGC gathering took place by June 26, two weeks after the election, at a critical time for the regime. On June 19, the Supreme Leader had led Tehran Friday Prayers to express his support for President Ahmadinejad and warn that further mass protests would be suppressed; the next day, dozens of demonstrators were killed by Iranian security forces as they marched in Tehran and other cities.
In his 19-minute speech, Saeedi thanks the IRGC’s commanders for “their activities in the election to achieve the Supreme Leader’s demands”. This was a victory not only over Mousavi and the reformists, but also over the Expediency Council — led by former President Hashemi Rafsanjani — and other threats within the regime:
Unfortunately the Expediency Council and other departments within the system are amongst the opponents of the Supreme Leader and the State.
Now we should find out what our duty is. Sepah (IRGC) and Basij (militia) have about 10 million members and if we could organise ourselves then we could change the results of the future elections.
Saeedi explained, “When the Supreme Leader says Ahmadinejad’s view is closer to his than Rafsanjani’s, it makes no sense to say we are not going to vote for Ahamdinejad….Not supporting Ahmadinejad means not supporting the Supreme Leader.”
To emphasize his point, he said the Supreme Leader had told the President, “We haven’t had such a good government since the Constitutional Revolution” of the early 20th century.