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IRGC Political Bureau Chief Yadollah Javani: The West Tried to Instigate a Velvet Revolution in Iran by Mobilizing Iranian Reformists; Reformist Leaders Must Be Tried and Punished

Memri, August 28, 2009

On August 2, 2009, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) political bureau director Yadollah Javani gave an interview to the Iranian website Press TV. In it, he stated that the post-election protests in Iran were the result of a Western plot to instigate a velvet revolution in the country by encouraging and assisting the Iranian reformists - who, Javani claimed, sought to topple the Islamic Revolution regime.

In an August 10, 2009 article titled "The Heads of the Velvet Revolution Must Be Arrested, Tried and Punished," in the IRGC weekly Sobh-e Sadeq, Javani named Mohammad Khatami, Mehdi Karroubi, Mir Hossein Mousavi, and others as the chief opposition leaders responsible for staging the coup, in cooperation with Western elements. To support this claim, he stated that the Iranian authorities had arrested a spy "who had entered the country to participate in the velvet revolution" after receiving instructions from foreign forces, including Western institutions such as MEMRI.

The followingare excerpts from an English translation of the Press TV interview that was published on the Press TV website, [1] and translated excerpts from the Sobh-e Sadeq article.

Javani in Press TV Interview: Having Failed to Topple the Iranian Regime by Military Means, Iran's Enemies Decided That the Only Alternative Was a Velvet Revolution

"Since the [early] days of the Revolution... we [Iranians] have [periodically] faced various threats. However, after a time, our enemies realized that they could not bring down the Islamic system with a 'hard threat.' For example, they realized that they could not stage a coup in Iran, or carry out plans that focus on dividing the country into sectarian regions. [Nor could they take] military action, or [place Iran under] direct military occupation.

"In recent years, we saw the U.S. threaten us with a military strike, but this [threat] never materialized, [thanks to] our defense abilities and capacities.

"It was under these circumstances that [the] Western media started [claiming] that the only way to topple the Islamic Republic is though 'soft revolt' (i.e. velvet revolution)... They saw the elections as a suitable opportunity to bring about some kind of change in Iran..."

The IRGC Did Not Back Any Presidential Candidate - It Only Tried to Raise the People's Awareness of Political Groups and Trends

"In the lead-up to the elections, [the] IRGC concentrated on raising the people's awareness, based on the principles of a clean vote. The roots of the allegations [that the IRGC supported Ahmadinejad in the elections] lie in [the] IRGC's efforts to raise awareness among [its own members] and [the members of the] Basij forces, so that they could participate in the elections with a high level of understanding, in a focused and informed way, and with knowledge about the country's political groups and trends.

"Those who made [the] accusations against the IRGC [always] bring up these issues... If we raise some issues about political groups and trends, and their stance and outlook, they sometimes try to portray it as a sign that we have joined a certain group. This, however, is basically not the case, because supporting a certain candidate would mean that the IRGC would have to function like a [political] party [and choose] a certain candidate... campaign for him, name him, and oppose the other candidates.

"But this is not what we did. The IRGC [only] worked toward creating awareness about the country's political issues, especially [considering that] the enemies are trying to carry out a 'soft revolt' in our country. It is only natural that such activities would raise public awareness, especially [among] the Basij and voluntary forces. However, it may displease some [people], particularly those who are trying to gain their own objectives through the elections."

Americans, Other Westerners Are Behind All "Velvet Revolutions" and "Color Revolutions"

"First of all, in velvet and color revolutions, the foreign elements [that instigate them] have always been Americans or Westerners. The foreign elements [that instigated the revolutions] in Poland, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and the Ukraine... were Americans and Westerners...

"After the collapse of the Soviet Union, they sought to establish pro-Western governments in the region in an attempt to further expand the influence of NATO towards the east...

"When Ms. [Condoleezza] Rice was national security advisor during [George W.] Bush's first term in office, she announced in an interview that the U.S. [had to examine] why its policies with regards to Iran had been failing [for] 24 years. This... is an interesting issue. First of all, she admitted [that the U.S. had been] seeking to deliver a blow to the Islamic Republic since the start of the [Islamic] Revolution. She admitted that the U.S. had been seeking to isolate Iran, break the revolution, cause the downfall of the Islamic Republic and set up a pro-U.S. regime [in its stead]. And she further contended that [these efforts] had failed...

"After becoming secretary of state, Ms. Rice put forward a budget proposal in Congress, and proposed [to include] an article on taking action in Iran within the budget for protecting and promoting democracy and protecting groups advocating human rights and freedom. Addressing the Congress, she later said, 'We Americans [have] successfully passed through Poland, [and are] pushing toward [the] Russian borders with our united movements and velvet revolutions. We have successfully established democratic regimes [in that region].' Here she was referring to [these] particular color revolutions. She further added that, today, the only [way] to change the system in Iran is to make use of the same [method].

"The Americans and Westerners declare that [a velvet revolution] is the only way [to achieve their goals]... And since Iran has an electoral system, they have come to the conclusion that in this country, certain political groups and movements... can participate in the elections... They also know that these groups do not have a strong faith in the Islamic establishment, meaning that they have distanced themselves from their past convictions and are now leaning toward the West. This is an important issue and Westerners have come to realize it..."

The Reformists Seek To End the Khomeini Era in Iran - Which Is What the Americans and Europeans Have Always Wanted

"A number of reformist figures, such as Akbar Ganji, Merhrangiz Kar, and Hasan Yousefi Eshkevari, were all present [at] the Berlin Conference in 2000. [2] Mr. Ganji, who is now acting against Iranian interests from abroad, represented the reformist camp in the conference as a journalist and political analyst. At the time, he even gave an interview to Der Spiegel, in which he openly suggested that the idea of 'reform in Iran' meant that the political views and principles [of Ayatollah Khomeini,] founder of the Islamic Revolution, should only be studied in history books..."

"This means that the reformist movement [aims] to mark the end of the Khomeini era - an [occurrence] that has long been desired by the Americans and the Europeans.

"The West strongly disapproves of Ayatollah Khomeini's political views, which have resulted in Islamic awareness and in a political awakening that has helped create a global movement against the political tyranny of the U.S. However, it [i.e. the counterrevolution] did not happen during the presidency of reformist president Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005)."

"We Must [Examine] Whether... Those Who Opposed the Election Results Had Links with Foreigners"

"Now, we must look and see whether there are any signs... that those who opposed the [June 12, 2009] election results had links with foreigners. If we put things together... we will reach [the] conclusion than these post-election events were a premeditated scenario.

"Western-based media outlets, including the anti-Iranian TV stations in Los Angles and anti-revolutionary movements that have provoked anti-government sentiments in Iran over the past few weeks, receive their funding from Western countries. What is most interesting is that in 2005, their policy was to boycott the presidential elections - but now their policy has suddenly changed into supporting [the] Iranian opposition leaders.

"This raises [the] question of what made them change their decades-long policy of isolation.
For the first time in the Islamic Republic's history, rumors of vote fraud have been spread, casting doubts on the legitimacy of the establishment. Such smear tactics, as in the previous velvet revolutions, were pre-planned efforts to [undermine] the nation's trust in the establishment... [The] foreign media outlets were quick to exploit these unsubstantiated claims and disseminate the idea of vote fraud in Iran." [3]

In Iran, Election Fraud that Can Change the Election Results Is Virtually Impossible

"...The Iranian electoral process can easily prevent fraud. There may be some irregularities, but election fraud that can [change] the election result is virtually impossible. The free and democratic nature of Iranian elections has been proved repeatedly in the past three decades. We believe that Iran is a country based on elections. We never imagined that supporters of a presidential candidate would take their cue from [the] Western media outlets, such as the BBC's Persian channel, and question the vote results."

Javani in Sobh-e Sadeq: "In Israel There Is An Institute Called MEMRI - Which Is Promoting a Project Aimed at Supporting Reformists in the Muslim World"

In his article in Sobh-e Sadeq, Javani stated that the ultimate goal of the velvet revolution was to secularize the Iranian regime. He said that former president Khatami had tried to achieve this goal during his term in office, but that having failed, he recently resorted to the option of a velvet revolution, along with presidential candidates Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

According to Javani, this claim is supported by the testimony of an Iranian who spied for America and is currently in Iranian custody. This man, he contended, "entered [Iran] in order to play a part in the velvet revolution... [and his] important statements about this affair are quoted in the indictment [issued by] the prosecutor-general's office. [This spy said that] in Israel there is institute called MEMRI, which is promoting a project aimed at supporting reformists in the Muslim world, including in Iran. The director of this project is a senior intelligence officer in the army of the Zionist regime. In a conversation with the spy, [this officer] said, 'One of our goals is to spread ideas like those of Iranian [reformist intellectual] Abd Al-Karim Soroush...'

"According to [various] documents, as well as the indictment [issued by] the prosecutor's office in Tehran and the defendants' confessions, [a number of reformist organizations] - [including] the Mosharekat party [IIPF, an umbrella organization of the Iranian reformist groups]; the Kargozaran party, [associated with Hashemi Rafsanjani]; the Mojahedeen [Enqelab-e Eslami] organization; the Majma-ye Rohaniyoun-e Mobarez [organization]; and other groups within the Second of Khordad Front [a reformist movement associated with Khatami] - all played a prominent role in this attempted 'soft revolt.' [Furthermore, several] people - including Mohammad Khatami, Mousavi-Khoeiniha, Mir Hossein Mousavi, [Mehdi] Karroubi, Mousavi-Lari, Majid Ansari Mohtashemi-pour, Behzad Nabavi - can be named as the main figures who planned and carried out the velvet revolution."

Javani then described the actions allegedly taken by the planners, both before and after the elections, in order to prepare the ground for the revolution. He said that they prepped the media and public opinion, spread lies about Ahmadinejad's government and smeared him personally, spread rumors about election fraud, and waged an ongoing campaign of inciting the public and encouraging public protests against the regime. He therefore called for the arrest, trial, and punishment of the chief planners of the revolution - namely, Khatami, Mousavi, Khoeiniha, Karroubi, and the others.

Javani concluded: "The Islamic regime is the regime that the Imam [Ayatollah] Khomeini [called] to maintain, regarding this as a duty of the utmost importance. The revolutionary Muslim nation of Iran is paying a steep price for maintaining this divine regime. Therefore, any movement or individual that wants to join the Great Satan, [namely] America, in [working to] replace the Islamic regime with a secular one, must be punished for their criminal activity aimed at toppling the regime - regardless of their status or past record." [4]

[1] The text has been lightly edited for clarity.

[2] This refers to a three-day conference held in Berlin on April 7-8, 2000, following the reformists' victory in the February 2000 Majlis elections. It was attended by Iranian activists living in Europe and by reformists from Iran. Upon their return to Iran, several of the latter were prosecuted by the reformist establishment, which was more conservative than they, and sentenced to long terms in prison.

[3], August 2, 2009.

[4] Sobh-e Sadeq (Iran), August 10, 2009

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