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Iran's military commander is warning of a coup backed by Israel and the United States
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posted July 20, 2001 15:39
Iran commander says West behind plot against mullahs
The World Tribune.Com
NICOSIA - Iran's military commander is warning of a coup backed by Israel and the United States.
Gen. Rahim Safavi, commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, said Iranians educated in the West are working to destroy the Islamic regime. The general said the goal of the dissidents is to separate religion from state, Middle East Newsline.
Iran has often warned of foreign plots against the Islamic republic. But Safavi told the Basij state-backed militia that current plans for a coup differ from previous plots because they are meant to destroy the regime from within.
The Washington, D.C.-based Azadeghan Foundation, headed by former Iranian diplomat Dr. Assad Homayoun, recently published an advertisement in U.S. newspapers with the headline: "Iran's People Have Been Struggling for Democratic Change, But Khatami and the Mullahs Represent the Continuity of Clerical Tyranny."
"The Western media has called the group of Iranian officials around President Mohammad Khatami 'reformers,' and those around Supreme Leader Khamenei 'hardliners,' but they all share the common belief that Iran should remain a rigid ideological state built around a 'revolutionary Islam,' Homayoun told World Tribune.com. "They are opposed to the West and bent on the destruction of Israel," he said.
Homayoun said most Iranians prefers to keep religion out of politics and favor genuine democratic reform.
Safavi charged that "in this plot, the enemy is trying to topple the system through using the idea of separation of state and religion as a weapon. A group who have studied in foreign countries and are a bit familiar with Western ideas are trying to speak the minds of Westerners. They have forgotten the Koran and are promoting the Western philosophy."
Safavi said the plot to overthrow the Islamic clergy is being conducted by those who are encouraging a resumption of ties between Iran and the United States. He called on the Basij and devout young Muslims to fight this trend.
The call by the Revolutionary Guard chief was the most specific by a member of the ruling circle to oppose the effort by Iranian President Mohammed Khatami to restore diplomatic relations with Israel.
All times are PT (US)
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