NCRI -Those following developments in Iran may ask themselves why the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, supports his current president, Mahmoud Ahamadinejad, to such an extent.
Khamenei is surely aware of the fact that Ahmadinejad has by now become the most hated figure in the contemporary world. But, he has left no doubt that Ahmadinejad is Khamenei’s favored candidate for the June 12th presidential elections.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was born in 1956 in the small town of Garmsar (Central province). Khamenei took note of him in 2003 and 2004, when in addition to being the mayor of Tehran, he was one of the members of a council coordinating the extremist factions loyal to the regime. At the time, this secret council was in practice more powerful than the government when it came to adopting some of the sensitive decisions. Khamenei retained their counsel in regards to the methods of dealing with the nuclear crisis. To his delight, the Supreme Leader soon realized that Ahmadinejad is fully decisive in pursuing fundamentalist policies. Khamenei ordered the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to dip into his own budget and build a large highway in Tehran, crediting Ahmadinejad for its completion, thereby touting him as a powerful mayor and political figure.
During this period, as Tehran’s mayor, Ahmadinejad resorted to some highly contentious activities:
– Building a memorial for a fundamentalist suicide bomber responsible for the attack against the base of American soldiers in Beirut, and killing of 241 US marines and 58 French paratroopers.
– Building a memorial for Khaled Islamboli, who assassinated former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat.
Before becoming mayor, Ahmadinejad had made many accomplishments for the regime’s policy of fundamentalism. His most “luminous” accomplishment was in early 1980s, when he tortured imprisoned university students as a close associate of Assadollah Lajevardi, one of the most ruthless torturers in the world.
In subsequent years, when the war with neighboring Iraq intensified, Ahmadinejad became a skilled member of the IRGC. However, he did not fight in the war front. Instead, he was among the commanders of “extraterritorial operations,” a less disgraceful pseudonym for acts of terrorism abroad.
During this period, his parallel activities branched into external operations and domestic crimes. On the one hand, he conducted operations in various foreign cities such as Vienna, Paris, Istanbul, and also along the Iran-Iraq border, including the assassination of Abdolrahman Ghassemlou, Secretary General of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran, in the Austrian capital. On the other hand, while in Tehran, he committed crimes such as the assassination of Dr. Sami, the first post-revolution Health Minister.
Ahmadinejad has always been at the forefront of the regime’s extremism and terrorism. In the 1990s, he was among the main leaders of plain-clothed suppressive agents and the fundamentalist “Ansar-e Hezbollah” group, which are part of the regime’s unofficial suppressive organs. Among their tasks is to attack student dormitories, organize violent counter-protests against peaceful student and workers’ demonstrations.
“Ansar-e Hezbollah” was Ahmadinejad’s stepping stone to reach the governorship of Lorestan and Ardebil provinces, eventually becoming the mayor of Tehran. Regardless of his official posts, Ahmadinejad retains his strong contacts with the group. His regular Thursday night speeches truly captivate his “Ansar” brothers.
Nonetheless, in the course of the July 2005 presidential race, no one inside or outside of the Iranian regime anticipated Ahmadinejad’s presidency. It was Khamenei who guaranteed Ahmadinejad’s victory with the help of the IRGC. The operation was codenamed “Quiet Light,” referring to unknown wartime operations which remain a secret until the last second.
Ahmadinejad’s presidency was not limited to a power grab by one extremist individual. It reflected a fundamental change in the ruling regime:
– Interrogators, torturers, commanders of terrorist units, and leaders of suppressive factions occupied sensitive government posts.
– The IRGC consolidated itself within the fabric of the regime and the clerical regime was thus militarized.
– The regime’s basis narrowed enormously and the majority of factions were purged.
– With regards to foreign policy, the mullahs adopted an aggressive posture. In reality, this was a declaration of war with the Iranian people and the international community.
In his first week in office as president, Ahmadinejad ended the suspension of uranium enrichment. Six days after getting into the presidential palace, he ordered the breaking of locks at the Natanz facility. Then, he accelerated the regime’s activities to build a nuclear weapon.
Right at the outset, he said, “Human rights is a despicable and tacky debate.” During his tenure, hangings increased four-fold, and at least 150 political prisoners were executed.
In terms of foreign policy, Ahmadinejad repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel and denied the Holocaust, which is an acknowledged historical occurrence. He is also famous for declaring the readiness of his regime to “fill the power vacuum left by the US in Iraq.”
He also called for the change in leadership of global affairs and “removal of corrupt powers.”
Today, Ahmadinejad has again announced his candidacy for the mullahs’ presidency. If he retains his post, it would suggest that for Khamenei, extremism, warmongering, and the nuclear weapon, are vital to such an extent that they far outweigh the global hatred towards Ahmadinejad.