As Iran’s currency crisis continues, both the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps
and the Iranian Intelligence Ministry this week accused the West of deliberately
inciting economic chaos in the Islamic Republic to destabilize the
Ali Ashraf Nouri, the IRGC’s political deputy, accused the
Iranian reformist movements of deliberately focusing on Iran’s economic
struggles to influence the outcome of the 2013 presidential elections.
an interview with the Persian-language conservative website Khabar Online, Nouri
said the 2013 presidential election would differ from that of 2009 in that this
time, Iran’s enemies were “focusing on the economy, which could affect people’s
livelihoods and cause general dissatisfaction.”
“People who face economic
hardships will start making demands from the system, and will look for those
culpable for the economic chaos,” Nouri said.
“In the wake of these
incidents, and in the heart of the protests, a pro-Western candidate whose motto
is that he can save the economy will put himself forward. In other words, the
suggestion would be that it will be better if you vote for him... Under these
conditions, the winner of the elections could be a candidate favorable to the
West,” he added.
Nouri’s comments come in the wake of last week’s clashes
between protesters and police over Iran’s currency crisis, and amid growing
signs that the country’s economy is in serious trouble.
have blamed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his government for Iran’s economic
problems, Iranian leaders have tried to play down the unrest and blame the
situation on the country’s enemies.
Nouri also accused the US of using
the Mujahedin-e Khalq, a guerrilla group formerly allied with former Iraqi
leader Saddam Hussein that opposes the clerical regime in Tehran, to spy on
Iran. In September, the US announced it was revoking MEK’s designation as a
Foreign Terrorist Organization, a move that angered Iran.
Intelligence Ministry made a similar claim this week, saying it had evidence
that the US had suggested using MEK agents as part of a strategy to incite
“fitna,” or sedition, in Iran.
Fitna was also the term Iranian officials
used to describe the mass protests after Ahmadinejad was declared the winner of
the 2009 elections.
The ministry made its claim on a newly launched
website, on which it asked Iranians to assist the regime by reporting
“suspicious activity” around the country.
Iran’s Fars News, which is
affiliated with the IRGC, also reported the claims, stating that they had
obtained from the Intelligence Ministry a copy of a Persian-language translation
of a strategy by Jillian Burns, the former Iran officer of the US National
Intelligence Council, to destabilize the Islamic Republic.
Fars said the
strategy called for MEK agents to assist with “activating the infrastructure for
a process of sedition, to promote economic discontent,” which it claimed was
part of a wider psychological operation to incite unrest in Iran.
claimed the strategy included seven points, including demonstrating widespread
corruption; escalating conflict within the regime; blocking nuclear talks;
reducing Iran’s revenue and increasing its costs; and encouraging unrest.