The Tehran Friday Prayer has repeated the Supreme Leader’s line rejecting the “national reconciliation” promoted by Iran’s reformists.
Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi told worshippers that there is no need for the reconciliation because the people are already united. Like Ayatollah Khamenei, he then linked the reformists to the “sedition” of the mass protests after the disputed 2009 Presidential election:
They did not accept the essence of [Iran’s] political system, chanted slogans of “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon”, insulted Islam and the Islamic Revolution, and now they come and say “national reconciliation”. The people will never be reconciled with you.
The leading reformist Mohammad Khatami, President from 1997 to 2005, launched the “reconciliation” initiative in early February, saying threats from US President Donald Trump made it the “most opportune time” for building a stronger, more unified environment. The Rouhani Government gave support, with Vice President Majid Ansari calling for the “improvement in relations” and saying, “It would be an honor to have greater contact and communication [with Khamenei].”
But Khamenei pointedly rejected the effort on Wednesday, “People are against those who took to the streets on the day of Ashura, beating and stripping the young [paramilitary] Basiji shamelessly and brutally. They are against them, and they will not reconcile with them.”
The Iranian press is barred from printing any photograph of Khatami, and opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi — the leading challenger in the 2009 election “won” by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — Mehdi Karroubi, and Zahra Rahnavard have been under strict house arrest since February 2011.
The maneuvers over reconcilation come three months before the Presidential election. Conservatives and hardliners are trying to remove Hassan Rouhani, but have yet to unite around a challenger.
TOP PHOTO: Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi