For the people, whose uprising in Tehran and other cities was brutally suppressed by the regime, it was clear that the Basij militia and the Revolutionary Guard played a major role in repressing the people’s protests. However, there has been a need for tangible evidence to prove that the Supreme Leader, as head of the state, was behind the repression. This evidence was provided in the appointment of Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran’s former General Prosecutor, by incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as head of
the Social Security Organization, which somehow revealed the invisible hands of the Supreme Leader.
Any repressive organ needs to conduct two parallel things which are known as “row” and “operational center.” Use of coercion and relentless repression is what is being done by the row. Naturally the army, even in the form of plainclothes militia, has the duty to use coercion against the people.
On October 8, 2011, the Revolutionary Guard’s Commander-in-Chief, Mohammad Ali Jafari, confessed that forces under his control successfully quelled the people’s massive uprising following the 2009 disputed presidential election which the government described as “sedition.” He said, “In various occasions like what happened during the bitter period of the so-called reform era which was to extinguish the divine light, members of the Basij militia made numerous sacrifices to protect this revolution and the Islamic system. With sacrifices made by the people, especially by members of the Basij militia, the 2009 sedition, which was a difficult test, was defeated by the people, and it was followed by divine victory.”
In addition to the agents of repression in the row, there is a need for operational centers to command those who are waiting in the row to use force. It is needless to mention that it is practically impossible to conduct an effective repression in the presence of an independent judiciary to which the army people could be held accountable. That is exactly where the judiciary’s role, as a backing operational center which tends to ignore the role of the repressors, comes to the fore.
It is not yet widely known that Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran’s former General Prosecutor, was directly responsible for the crimes which took place in the Kahrizak detention center following the 2009 presidential election. However, the question is what kind of immunity is provided to Saeed Mortazavi to not only protect him from prosecution, but also help his appointment as head of the Social Security Organization, one of Iran’s richest institutions.
To understand the question, one has to know that Mortazavi has to disclose the role he played within a repressive cycle which includes both the row and operational centers, should he and other judges like him be brought to the dock.
In other words, a trial of Mortazavi is not going to be trial of an individual but of the whole cycle of repressors. Moreover, in case the role of each and every link of the chain of repressors is made clear, the more important question is that who and under what justification was such a repressive organization created? In other words, Mortazavi is a string which should not be pulled.
Haddad Adel’s Interference in Impeachment of Minister of Labor and Social Affairs
The end of the previous Iranian year, 1390, coincided with appointment of Saeed Mortazavi as Head of the Social Security Organization which angered many of the conservative lawmakers.
Saeed Mortazavi is a young judge who had had criminal cases, though left uninvestigated by the judiciary, in sixth, seventh and eighth parliaments. On the other hand, to insist on his position that the Majlis, Parliament, is not above all the country’s institutions, Ahmadinejad appointed Mortazavi first as head of Iran’s Task Force against smuggling after he was suspended from the judiciary, and then promoted him to the Head of the Social Security Organization. As a protest against such disgraceful treatment of the parliament by Ahmadinejad, some of the lawmakers signed a petition in March 2012 calling for the Minister of Labor and Social affairs to be impeached due to his decision to appoint Saeed Mortazavi as head of the Social Security Organization. The impeachment motion was supposed to be held on April 15, 2012.
Supreme Leader’s Hand in Haddad Adel’s Sleeve
Everyone knows that Haddad Adel is a relative of Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, and is obedient to his orders. In a very rare example, which shows how the system provides safe haven for the repressors, Haddad Adel, who is a simple member of the parliament and not its head, wrote a letter to the lawmakers one day before the impeachment of the labor minister saying that Mortazavi had consulted with him and is ready to give up his post as head of the Social Security Organization. He said, “His Excellency Saeed Mortazavi met with me and sought my consultation over the issue. Taking into account the Supreme Leader’s s aegis on the occasion of the New Year meeting, I asked Mr. Mortazavi to resign from his post in order to solve the dispute. Mr. Mortazavi accepted my recommendation for the sake of system’s expediency. So, I would like to thank Mr. Mortazavi, and I also would like to call upon all those who signed the petition for the impeachment of the labor minister to withdraw their signatures and cancel the impeachment motion which is to be held on April 15, 2012.”
Some Considerations on Haddad Adel’s Letter to Lawmakers
۱- In case it is proven that Mortazavi met with Haddad Adel, the question is whetherhe meet Haddad as a de facto person or as a de jure person (as a member of the parliament)? Haddad Adel is one among hundreds of lawmakers, thus he cannot be considered as a reference of consultation by Mortazavi. Moreover, if Mortazavi wanted to consult with an effective figure in the parliament, he would have been better off to consult with the parliament’s speaker, his deputy or the parliament’s presiding body.
۲- If one assumes that Mortazavi had met Haddad Adel as a de facto person, then the question is how could Haddad convince Saeed Mortazavi, who is not even answerable to the judiciary, to seek consultation with him? For instance, is it because that Haddad is the head of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature?
۳- The only quality of Haddad Adel, which separates him from the others, is his closeness and obedience to the Supreme Leader. He is the only relative of Khamenei who has written a poem for him.
۴- What sort of expediency was there in Haddad’s words which could convince Mortazavi to resign from his post? The extremely polite tone of the letter, in which Mortazavi is called His Excellency, shows that what Haddad had said to Saeed Mortazavi was his own words and opinions. Haddad’s message to the lawmakers is that Saeed Mortazavi is an Excellency who has obeyed the Supreme Leader’s order. By his resignation, Saeed Mortazavi had indeed taken into consideration the system’s expediency. Therefore, lawmakers have to call off the impeachment of the labor minister for the sake of the system’s expediency.
The system’s expediency means the system’s secrets which Mortazavi should in no way disclose. Mortazavi is a clue to the row and operational center of repression. Any revelation about the role of the agents of the repression will be naturally followed by revelation of the role of the commanders of the repression. That is what has to remain undisclosed forever.