June 17, 2011
Teheran, 16 June (AKI) – A senior official from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards corps has warned hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that its allegiance lies with the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“The Pasdaran (Revolutionary Guards) are totally loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and will not tolerate any form of disobedience towards him,” said Ali Sahidi in speech to a group of commanders of the elite military corps, according to website ‘Digarban’.
In an apparent warning to Ahmadinejad, who has in recent months been embroiled in am unabated power struggle with Khamenei and his supporters, Sahidi continued:
“We will use force to oppose any attempt to deviate from the principles of the (1979 Iranian) Revolution. All members of the Pasdaran are loyal to the Supreme Leader and are ready to intervene whenever he should be in danger.”
Khamenei’s supporters contend that Ahmadinejad’s government has been openly challenging the Supreme Leader’s authority in the theocratic state.
In recent weeks, the judiciary, which is close to Khamenei, has arrested 12 associates of Ahmadinejad, widening the rift at the pinnacle of power in Iran.