January 4, 2010

Woops…[update of “Former IRGC Spy Chief: The End is Near”]

As you know, when we here at NIAC aren’t promoting human rights in Iran, ensuring the free flow of information via Internet services, and protecting the interests of the Iranian-American community, we also do a little blogging.
From time to time, helpful users like you send us tips and information on interesting stories dealing with Iran, and most of the time we welcome the suggestions.  But of course, this can sometimes be a risky practice, and it is possible that our judgment will lapse from time to time–as it did today when we published a story about a supposed former IRGC intelligence chief.
Laura Rozen cautions:

With all the stories of continued Iranian unrest, human rights abuses and the complications for Western nuclear diplomacy, beware what seems a notable uptick, too, in very fishy stories of the Chalabi/U.S.-soldiers-will-be-greeted-with-flowers type emerging as well.

We apologize for not scrutinizing this story more than we did, and thank our friend Laura for the helpful reminder.
Mohammad Reza Madhi, a former intelligence chief for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Corps, “predicted the end of the Iranian regime,” saying it is time for a split between religion and state.  Madhi was one of the Supreme Leader’s closest advisers for nearly 20 years, until 2008 when he fled Iran from death threats and a 73 year jail sentence.
Below from an exclusive interview published yesterday in the Bangkok Post Madhi’s full quotes:

What’s Happening Now
The government has already collapsed. There’s going to be big changes very soon. Believe me, it will happen soon. I can promise you that I will meet you for the next interview in Teheran very soon. However, I am afraid that the transition won’t be peaceful. You see what has happened during the religious ceremony called Ashura a few days ago. They killed so many people, 11 to be exact, not eight as was reported by the western media.
The Ayatollahs are very much divided. They have so many problems between each other. There are many Ayatollahs who have different views. However, the ones in the government have the power, not the others.
At this moment, the government cannot rely 100% on the Iranian Army and even on the Revolutionary Guards, who are more powerful. There are now only a few hard-line religious people inside the Revolutionary Guards who are against the people.
There are some people inside the Revolutionary Guards who are against the government and side with the people. The government is aware of that. And the same applies to the Iranian Army. Many of them are now on the people’s side. Many of them are now against the government, but they are afraid to say it openly because they might have problems.
There are four major opposition groups and about 20 small ones. The big groups are united and are working with each other, but the small ones are not. However, they are all working for the same goal, which is to oust the government. I believe that the majority of people in Iran are against the government.
The Future for Iran
We want to keep our country as the Islamic Republic of Iran, but religion and politics must be separated. We want to change the structure of the government. The good clerics should help the people and the government, while the bad ones should be ousted from government…I believe that politics and the religion might be divided soon.
As for Israel, it is the Iranian government which doesn’t recognize its right to exist, but the Iranian people might think differently. Israel’s internal problems are its own affairs, not ours. We shouldn’t get involved. It shouldn’t concern us. My view is that Israel has the right to exist. We should recognize it.
To the USA
I have a message to President Obama: Instead of imposing sanctions, you should give more support to the opposition groups. The sanctions don’t work. The government uses sanctions as an excuse to put more pressure on the people.
Next Steps
I have many plans, for the Army, the Revolutionary Guards and the intelligence service, for university people and for all the people in Iran. I am looking forward to living with my family in Iran after the government changes. They are having a difficult time now.
I will go back to build my country. Every Iranian should work to reconstruct Iran.
Yes [I am in contact with my contacts in Iran], for 10 hours or even more every day! Sometimes I don’t sleep because it is time to talk with them. I use mobile phones, emails and other means to communicate with them. I know what is going on in Iran every day.

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