Officials Slam Reformist Leaders
After a recent session of the cabinet, a number of senior government officials accused Mohammad Reza Khatami, deputy secretary general of the Mosharekat Party, and Nouradin Pirmoazen, spokesperson for the minority reformist faction in the Majlis, of treason for speaking with foreign diplomats and media. Khatami had met and spoken with the German ambassador in Tehran recently.
In the past few days, following the publication of Ardebil representative in the Majlis Noradddin Pirmoazen’s interview with Voice of America’s Persian Service, he was accused of “treason against the parliament and the government.” The spokesperson for the minority reformist faction in the Majlis defended himself by insisting that he had not crossed any “red lines,” denied rumors that he has applied for refugee status in the United States and said that he intended to return to Tehran.
Yesterday, the minister of intelligence told reporters after attending the cabinet meeting, “This action is really an act of treason and distasteful. Not only is it not consistent with the representative’s senior position of responsibility, as even regular individuals would not speak with foreigners in this manner. Contacting foreigners has certain norms and not everyone is allowed to speak with foreigners about everything. This issue must be investigated and the ministry of intelligence will not overlook it.”
Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei also commented on the meeting of Mohammad Reza Khatami with the German ambassador. While noting that “punishing Reza Khatami is the responsibility of the judiciary and not the legislative,” he added, “In these meetings, issues about the regime’s internal policies should not be discussed and abused, and whatever person, party or group does such a thing harms the nation and is an act of treason. If prominent individuals participate in such meetings, then the action is more despicable.”
Meanwhile, Minister of the Interior Pour Mohammadi called Pirmoazen’s interview with the VOA and Reza Khatami’s meeting with the German ambassador “an act of treason,” adding, “People will respond accordingly to this treacherous action.”
In addition to the ministers of intelligence and interior, Ahmadinejad’s advisor Samareh Hashemi and speaker of Majlis Haddad Adel condemned the actions as well of the reformists.
Reza Khatami, who has been the subject of the hardliners’ destructive campaigns in the past few days, defended his casual meeting with the German ambassador and openly announced that he has met with other ambassadors such as the British ambassador.
The hardliner Raja News website, affiliated with the president’s office, wrote in this connection, “Samareh Hashemi, one of the President’s special advisors, said yesterday following the cabinet’s meeting that Khatami must disclose what he had said in the meeting (with the German ambassador), and what his goals were from holding this meeting.”
Ahmadinejad’s intelligence advisor, Rohallah Hosseinian, told official Fars news agency, “The meeting with the German ambassador was not very surprising to me, because Reza Khatami has held such meetings with British diplomats in the past, so much so that the British ambassador has written a report documenting his euphoria from these meetings. I have enough evidence to prove my claims.”