Iran Hopes

A Weblog on Iranian Affairs (Formerly Iran Votes 2005)

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Ghalibaf stripped of his title(s)!

I just love reading Kayhan. I am not a hardliner and I know that most of the times, it is full of lies and accusations. But, what I like about it is that it always has a bared truth in it as well. The truth about how Kayhanis think, how they see the world, how they see people, etc. It easily, without any complication whatsoever, reflects the ideas of those who run it.
Only until a few days ago, Kayhan used to use the title "Dr" when referring to Ghalibaf (Ghalibaf has a PhD in Geography). But, it is not using that title any longer! Why? Maybe Kayhan does not think Ghalibaf deserves 'respect' anymore?
A simple analysis of the events in past few days proves that this is in fact the case. Last week, Ghalibaf was asked by students about what would happen if him and the Supreme Leader are in disagreement on a certain issue. Would he act upon what he sees the best or would he just follow the Leader's order? Ghalibaf replied by explaining that the scope and limits of the Leader's responsibilities are defined in the Constitution (so the Leader must not go beyond those limits). But, what surprised many was Ghalibaf's "boldness" in saying that if finds the Leader's opinion confliction with his, he would follow the Leader only if he (i.e. Ghalibaf) comes to the conclusion that the Leader has a point - other wise "the Leader opinion must change". That boldness, however, did not impress those who believe that Ayatollah Khamenei has been appointed by God as the "Guardian of Muslims"(Vali). "how dares Ghalibaf challenge the God's representative on earth?" They must have asked.
But this is not the end of story. Ghalibaf crossed over another red-line yesterday, when he praised Reza Shah (the founder of Pahlavi dynasti) as an authoritarian figure, who, by using his absolute authority, maintained order in the Iranian society. He even went as far as calling himself a "hezbollahi Reza Shah". Considering how much the ruling clerics and "hezbollahis" detest Reza Shah, it should not be too hard to imagine how much uproar his view generated.
Ghalibaf, however, was quick to reject making any such comments. He even threatened that "appropriate action" would be taken against those who "attributed" such things to him. But his afforts have so far been to no avail. Kayhan is not happy. For Kayhan, a good president is the one who never questions the Leader on anything. He (there will be no female president in Islamic Republic) must understand that what the Leader says and does is the right thing, and the president's duty is simply to obey. Besides, a good president never says good things about the people that the Leader does not like. Be it Reza Shah, or Mossadegh, or anyone else. It does not matter whether they did anything good for Iran. You must not like someone whom your Leader dislikes, even if you are a president of a nation (who do say good things about those whom the Leader dislikes).
Ghalibaf soon realized that his comments made the Leader upset. He tried to make up for those comments - or to apologize. But Kayhan is frank: apology not accepted. No more Dr. Ghalibaf, no more General Ghalibaf. Titles have been erased. And be careful! One more such mistakes, Ghalibaf will be erased too!

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