Campaigns of the Endurance Front against Fundamentalists

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Campaigns of the Endurance Front against Fundamentalists

Campaigns of the Endurance Front against the Principlists

The campaigns of the Endurance Front against the Principlists have once again become active in the months leading up to the twelfth parliamentary elections. However, this time the approach is different and the leaders of the Principlist movement, especially the Secretary-General of the Endurance Front, have become the targets of their attacks.

In the political arena of Iran, particularly among the Principlists, the Endurance Front can be considered one of the most controversial Principlist groups that emerged during Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency. Their activities reached their peak before every election, and they strive to have a share in the seats of power and influence decision-making processes. Some Principlists even believe that they have the greatest influence on the direction of the thirteenth government’s movement.

According to Iran Gate, this movement has once again become active in the months leading up to the twelfth parliamentary elections. However, this time the approach is different and the leaders of the Principlist movement, especially the Secretary-General of the Endurance Front, have become the targets of their attacks.

First, Ali Larijani was attacked under the pretext of using the term ‘purification’. Then, Mohammad Reza Bahonar’s criticism of the government’s disqualification and election engineering was used as an excuse to attack him. Finally, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, who was not left behind in this matter, came under criticism after his criticism of factionalism in the parliament.

Of course, alongside the attack on senior principlists, the Secretary-General of the Steadfast Front faced a major challenge in recent months, which was related to his friendship with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This led him to officially defend and support Ahmadinejad.

The end of silence.

For nearly two years after the presidential elections of the thirteenth term, Sadegh Mahsouli had remained silent in his political activities. However, a few days after Ali Larijani spoke out in response to the Tasnim News Agency’s report on his activities in the twelfth parliamentary elections, the Secretary-General of the Steadfast Front, who was the speaker at the political session of the Basij Student Mobilization at Allameh Tabatabai University, proposed four steps regarding the joint list for the twelfth parliamentary elections without even mentioning Larijani’s remarks.

In this speech, which was held on May 16, 2023, he mentions that in order to achieve these agreements, it is important in the first step that revolutionary forces do not undermine each other. In the second step, necessary criteria for proposing and prioritizing candidates should be thoroughly examined and determined, and the criteria and principles should be clearly and explicitly stated. In the third step, based on the mentioned criteria…

It is necessary to identify the commonalities of the lists, and in the fourth step, if possible, the final agreement list should be presented as a unified and common list among the movements and revolutionary forces. Then, he emphasizes on a specific step, which is the second phase of determining principles and criteria, as it is of great importance. In this phase, we should not cross the red lines and candidates should be identified based on these criteria. According to religious narrations, if we do not choose the qualified ones, we would betray God, the Prophet, and the people.

Of course, after this speech and clarifying the intended steps, he goes silent for another period, a process that continues until August of this year.

The first step: Ali Larijani.

Approximately 3 months after Sadegh Mahsouli presented a four-step plan for the Unity List in the parliamentary elections, he goes to the news network on August 11th and, on a day when his own product had shown opposition to the interference of armed forces and governing institutions in the elections, he makes another escape to his preferred candidates and says that individuals with a distinguished record in safeguarding the country’s independence should be introduced.

These are individuals who attack the independent revolutionary institution in the country but do not realize that they are overthrowing themselves. Of course, there is no problem with criticism, but attacking the foundations of the system is wrong. It seems that the target of these sentences is Ali Larijani, who has been critical of the Guardian Council’s behavior and has been harmed by the Guardian Council’s behavior during the 1400 presidential elections.

After appearing on a live program, Sadegh Mahsouli’s engine is turned on for his speech, and his attacks on the principled individuals become more intense step by step. Although he did not make a direct reference to Ali Larijani before, this time he uses words that clearly target Ali Larijani.

In his speech on the first of Shahrivar, he mentions that today we are in a fierce war with an enemy that unlike the imposed war, we don’t hear the sound of bombings, missiles, and bullets. This war is much harder, as we witness some individuals striking from behind without being seen.

Only those who have insight understand this, but the climax comes after stating this sentence, where he says we must be cautious of the wording and propaganda of those who have been present in various positions of the system for years and have betrayed the people more than serving them, and today they are debtors. Let’s not be influenced by their slogans and wordings like ‘purification’. They themselves are more in pursuit of purification.

Yes, purification is the presence of Western-oriented faces in various positions in the country, and that’s why they are concerned about the presence of revolutionary forces in the parliament and government. These Western-oriented individuals have regretted being revolutionary and even express opposition and regret towards the policies and actions of the late Imam.

After this speech, Sadegh Mahsouli once again begins his period of silence and continues it for almost three more months. The third phase of breaking the silence by Sadegh Mahsouli begins with further attacks on Ali Larijani.

On November 26th, in the general assembly of the Stability Front, he says sentences that initially appear to be criticizing the government’s performance. The government has weaknesses, and the main one is that some individuals in the government, like the president himself, are not thinking and acting in a transformative way, yet they still have a presence in the government. We expect from the government and demand that competent revolutionary forces replace such individuals as soon as possible. However, to complete his sentence, he uses a phrase that indicates

that Mahsouli’s intention is that he is not fully satisfied with the process of consolidation in the government, and he asks for it to go deeper. But the target community in this path is the continuation of his sentence. We expect from the government not to be held hostage to manipulations such as the accusation of purification. Unfortunately, today the word purification has become a code name for attacking integrity.

We must have a jihadic effort. Only with dignity and focus, we can multiply the achievements of Hajj Qasem in the political arena. We should not be afraid of labels like purification and the like.

The second step, Mohammad Reza Bahonar.

On November 28th, Mohammad Reza Bahonar gives interviews to the Young Journalists Club without mentioning any specific movement. He criticizes the disqualification process of the twelfth parliament in executive boards and asks the supervisory boards to pay attention. He says that if someone is truly revealed to be anti-system and subversive, then no one believes in their qualification approval.

However, individuals who have served in the system, even if they are reformists or principled conservatives, or if they do not accept Bahonar personally and criticize President Raisi’s government, this is not a sin. In fact, it is a political and vibrant activity. It makes no sense for someone to have a problem with the government and have their qualification rejected. This in itself is a form of election engineering.

Although in this interview, Bahonar does not make any direct references to the Stability Front, they take the former parliament speaker’s opinions to themselves. This time, the spokesperson for the Stability Front enters the fray and responds to the Secretary-General of the Society of Iranian Engineers, Majid Motaghifard, on December 7th of this year in an interview with Young Journalists Club. He says Mr. Bahonar talks a lot like this.

He once said that if the Stability Front says 50% of this list is for me, it is not true and it is 100% a lie. And once during our entire election campaign, we did not say this. I don’t know from what position he is speaking, and who determined this and who confirmed that these opinions are valid. He becomes the leader himself and passes judgment for himself. This is how Mr. Bahonar is. When he doesn’t like a place, he easily accuses others.

He brings up a documented case where someone was rejected due to their opposition to the government. They became an actor and designed a playing field, and they are working there and busy with it. In order to promote them, he tries to create influential movements in the elections.

Step three: Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf.

Another important event in the context of conservatism and the upcoming parliamentary elections in Esfand month of this year takes place in Azar month. On the fourth of Azar, the Assembly of Awakening Forces, also known as the Basij, holds its first electoral conference at the Imam’s shrine.

An important point of this conference was that none of the prominent figures of the Stability Front were invited. The conference, in which Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf and Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel were the main speakers, aimed to determine their stance on these two individuals in the twelfth parliamentary elections. However, Haddad-Adel plays a more prominent role, of course. Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi was also invited to attend this conference, but he did not come.

In a part of this ceremony, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf makes sarcastic remarks about some conservatives and states that we should consider factionalism as forbidden. Only those who have the concern and ability to solve problems should make their way to the parliament, as the country needs transformation.

This sentence is somewhat a continuation of the trend that the Speaker of the Eleventh Parliament has been following in the past year and a half. He has repeatedly attacked a spectrum of conservatives on various occasions without mentioning any specific group, using the term ‘super revolutionaries’ for them. For example, he had said, ‘We look at some people and see that they have done nothing, but they demand everything from everyone.’

Clearly, in this statement at the Mabna Conference, Ghazizadeh Hashemi does not directly refer to any specific faction, and he does not mention anyone by name in the matter of profiteering. However, just like the Bahonar incident, it is mentioned again, and the Front of Steadfastness takes the lead. But this time, the Secretary-General of the Front of Steadfastness gets involved.

A few days after the Speaker of the Parliament’s speech, Sadegh Mahsouli gives an interview to Fars News Agency, and in a part of this interview, which was published on December 12th, he responds to Ghazizadeh Hashemi’s remarks and says, ‘I think the situation in society has become clearer compared to before, and revolutionary movements have realized that what we said in the previous period was true.’

It means you should stand more on principles and values. For example, let’s say some friends come and say that stock market speculation is forbidden. In the past, the list of Tehran candidates from the coalition friends announced by Fars News Agency changed after a while. Why did the list change? Who were the ones manipulating it? The same ones who were in the coalition.

Supporting Ahmadinejad

Apart from the course that the Stability Front and its main elements have taken in attacking the conservative elites, the secretary-general of this conservative movement has faced a major challenge in recent months. Some conservatives, after the attacks on the conservative elites began, responded by raising the issue of the wealth of Sadegh Mahsouli and the way he acquired this wealth with the help of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. After the escalation of this trend and the emergence of issues such as the oil swap scandal or the construction of a tower regarding Sadegh Mahsouli and his wealth, three paths were considered for reacting to this issue.

On December 7th, Majid Motaghifar, the spokesperson for the Stability Front, gave an interview to the Young Journalists Club and completely denied Sadegh Mahsouli’s economic activities since Ahmadinejad’s time. Mr. Mahsouli has not engaged in any economic work since Ahmadinejad’s government, except for major expenses that he has covered. Additionally, he has a charity and gives two to four thousand people gift cards worth two hundred thousand to three hundred thousand Tomans during Eid. We are not here to promote these things.

In the second stage, on December 10th, Sadegh Mahsouli’s office released statements regarding the issues raised about the wealth of the Secretary-General of the Stability Front, considering it as projects for destruction. It is one of the enemy’s designs to activate burnt faces against the revolutionary forces in order to guide and create disillusionment among the people, aiming to weaken the popular component of religious governance, so that they can neutralize one of the main factors of the enemy’s attacks.

For this reason, enemies design multi-stage projects to undermine or weaken this power in order to disturb the millions of people’s presence and create doubts. One aspect of this destructive and deceitful design is against revolutionary movements and influential forces of the revolution, with the aim of creating disillusionment in society.

But in the third step, a truthful figure entered the scene and bravely defended the ninth and tenth government leaders. In a part of this interview conducted on Azar 21 with Fars News Agency, he said that Mr. Ahmadinejad, despite having a PhD from the university, even in the field of engineering and management, Mr. Ahmadinejad was truly successful and provided great services. He established a solid cylinder in terms of justice and expanded justice, which we had not seen in an executive position before.

The problem we have in the system is that unfortunately, some friends, due to their prejudice, do not see the good actions of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s government or present them negatively.

The path to sustainability

As mentioned before, the main pillars of the Stability Front for participating in the twelfth parliamentary elections have targeted the leaders and elders of the conservative movement, and they are waiting for the conservative leaders to express their opinions so they can attack them. Interestingly, none of those who have been attacked, such as Ali Larijani, Mohammad Reza Bahonar, and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, directly mention the Stability Front in their statements. But as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

However, we should not forget that in the wave of attacks by the Stability Front, Gholamali Haddad-Adel has also been targeted alongside Larijani, Bahonar, and Ghalibaf. But the main pillars of the Stability Front do not have any direct or even indirect involvement with Haddad-Adel. Although some secondary members of this political movement may be referring to Haddad-Adel when using the term ‘godfather’, based on the codes they provide.

As Haddad Adel mentioned in one of his speeches during a central council session of the Coalition of Islamic Revolutionary Forces, he raised some points metaphorically and said that we should not allow the distortion movement to create an incorrect mentality of the revolutionary front in the public’s minds through revolutionary literature and introduce revolutionaries as lacking rationality and ethics in political matters.

Overall, it seems that this wave and the existence of differences and, of course, verbal confrontations between the Stability Front and other principled individuals will increase in the coming months more than before. This trend is different from previous periods and the performance of stability forces in past elections. This coalition usually followed the coalition around us in the principled movement, and in this way, they have drawn lines and demanded a share for other principled coalitions. During this time, they showed no inclination towards the main coalition populations of principled individuals, namely the Coalition Council of Revolutionary Forces and the Unity Council of Revolutionary Forces, and even the members of this coalition referred to both of them as paternalistic figures.

Now, with the attacks carried out by the main pillars of the Stability Front against Ali Larijani, Mohammad Reza Bahonar, and Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the hopes for unity in presenting a list of principlists and the minimum presence of Stability Front members in the lists, with a focus on prominent principlists, will be close to zero. The Stability Front will even play the role of an opposing counterpart to its own cohesive principlist line, in order to enter the twelfth parliamentary elections with a ‘with us or against us’ approach. This could potentially lead to a decrease in diversity within the same list and possibly result in a coalition.

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