On the eve of the bi-annual meeting of the Assembly of Experts in Iran, headed by Ayatollah Rafsanjani, opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi has written a letter to Rafsanjani reminding the Assembly of it’s responsibilities to monitor not only the Supreme Leaders performance, but also the institutions and functions under the Supreme Leader.
In the letter he points out the increasing role of the Revolutionary Guard and Basij in political affairs, as well as their expansive role in economic matters. Karroubi also states “a lack of independence of the judiciary and courts.”
In a bold move, Karroubi points to the Assembly’s power to remove the rahbar (Supreme Leader) if he is incapable of carrying out his duties in a supervisory role, as written in the Constitution.
In the letter, dated September 13th, 2010, Mehdi Karroubi reiterated the responsibilities of the Supreme Leader under the Constitution, stating that the Assembly of Experts must prevent the destabilization of the Velayat-E-Faqih [Rule of the Jurisprudent] and the position and role of the Supreme Leader that have resulted from negligence in the performance of duties and the abuse of authority.
Karroubi’s letter states that “dozens of questions can be raised, including the lack of attention to people’s rights, inefficiency by the executive and judiciary branches of the government, and in particular the abuse of the general rights of citizens by the institutions under the auspices of the Supreme Leader.”
Mehdi Karroubi, a supporter of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini and two times head of the Parliament when Khomeini was Supreme Leader, became an opposition candidate and joined the apposition movement after the controversial presidential elections last year. In this recent letter to the Head of the Assembly of Experts, Hashemi Rafsanjani, he repeatedly points to the responsibilities and powers of the Assembly of Experts, including the right to remove the Supreme Leader from his position. Karroubi also reiterated that in his opinion, the Assembly of Experts has not properly utilized the legal authorities afforded under Articles 107, 108 and 111 of the Constitution.
Article 107 of the Constitution describes the “responsibilities” of the Supreme Leader and others in accordance to the law. Article 108 describes the duties and powers of the Assembly of Experts, while Article 111 covers the rules related to the dismissal of the Supreme Leader. Article 111 states: “Whenever the Leader becomes incapable of fulfilling his constitutional duties, or loses one of the qualifications mentioned in Articles 5 and 109, or it becomes known that he did not possess some of the qualifications initially, he will be dismissed. The authority of determination in this matter is vested with the experts specified in Article 108.”
In his letter to Hashemi Rafsanjani Head of the Assembly of Experts, Mehdi Karroubi makes references to the “complete lack of independence of the judiciary, the show trials that were politically motivated and paraded in all government supporting media outlets, the complete and unconditional interference by the IRGC [Sepah] and Basiji in all political matters and their dominance and monopolization of all economic matters” as examples of the results of the activities of the institutions under the auspices of the Leadership.”
Karroubi also writes that the IRGC and Basiji played a role in the rigged elections and oppressing the rights of the nation of Iran, reiterating that the transfer of large economic projects to the IRGC and “eliminating public tenders” further strengthened the conditions for the existence of a monopoly and the military’s ability to personal monetary profits.
While reiterating his criticism of the performance by the existing government, Karroubi stated: “If the Assembly of Experts continues to neglect its responsibilities, ignoring the incompetence, imprudence, exaggerations, irreverence and impertinence of the current government, even if they eventually become aware of their mistake, it may unfortunately be too late.”
It is worth mentioning that reports published covering the last session of the Assembly of Experts in Iran do not make any references to the letter by Mr. Karroubi.
These meetings took place in Tehran on September 14th & 15th, 2010.
with special thanks to Banooye Sabz for English translation