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'Larijani, You No Longer Represent Us'

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani (left) and President Mahmud Ahmadinejad -- increasingly at odds?

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani (left) and President Mahmud Ahmadinejad -- increasingly at odds?

It appears that Iran's hard-liners have found a new target for their attacks.

Iran's semi-official ILNA news agency has reported that leaflets against the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, were distributed on July 2 following the Friday Prayers in the seminary city of Qom.

ILNA reported that the leaflets, titled "Mr. Larijani, give us back our vote, you no longer represent us," were distributed by a group that calls itself the "Hezbollah Ummah."

The report adds that the writers, who said that they represent "a large number of theological seminary students, university students, and people," criticized Larijani for his recent stances in the battle over Iran's largest private educational center, Azad University.

We reported last week about the battle over the university and how it has deepened the fissures within the Iranian establishment.

Many of the chants by government supporters and Basij members who protested against the parliament bill, which was intended to prevent President Mahmud Ahmadinejad from taking over the university and its estimated billions of dollars in assets, targeted Larijani. The bill, as expected, has been rejected by the Guardians Council.

ILNA reported that in the anti-Larijani leaflets distributed on July 2, the conservative speaker of parliament and Ahmadinejad rival is accused of supporting the Green opposition movement.

"It is being said that you voted for Ahmadinejad's rival [opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi] and even congratulated him on his victory," the leaflets said. "We have not yet heard from you clearly denying this. However, we have witnessed that some of the things that you had denied in the past were proven to be true."

ILNA also quoted the statement as saying: "At the beginning of the sedition incident you appeared on TV and called for granting permission to plotters to rally in the streets. This is while the supreme leader's policy was that protesters should not come to streets and no concession should be given to those involved in the sedition"

Larijani has not reacted to the latest attack. A member of the parliament, Gholamreza Mesbahi Moghadam, has warned against what he described as fissures and attempts to eliminate some based on political differences.

In recent months, attacks and pressure by hard-liners against a number of figures that were previously considered regime insiders and pillars of the Iranian Islamic establishment has increased.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.