The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) has accused the Iranian Parliament’s news website of failing to heed the Supreme Leader by fueling dissent and disputes in the upper echelons of power.
“A 72-hour monitoring of the official media of the legislative branch reveals that the operators of this official site have in effect decided to disregard the recommendations of the Supreme Leader,” IRNA writes.
In a recent meeting with MPs, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei called on government officials “not to let differences [of opinion] translate into challenge and conflict.”
The Supreme Leader’s recommendation came after months of disputes between Parliament and the administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Parliament has repeatedly accused his executive branch of various forms of violations, while key members of the president’s office have been accused of leading a “deviant current” aimed at uprooting the system.
IRNA writes that the parliamentary website has adopted the tone and language of “foreign media directed at weakening the government of Iran’s Islamic Republic.”
IRNA goes on to accuse Parliament’s news media of failing to practice “professional and objective journalism,” pointing especially to headlines linking the Ahmadinejad administration to the so-called “deviant current.”
“Over 50 percent of the material published on Parliament’s media source, which was reviewed over a specific time period, took a negative position against the government, the president and the ministers,” IRNA says.
Ahmadinejad has become a target of frequent criticism from the conservative elite since he tried to remove his minister of intelligence but was stymied by the immediate intervention of the Supreme Leader.
Ahmadinejad resisted Ayatollah Khamenei’s interference for more than a week by avoiding his public duties. His open expression of resistance against the Supreme Leader drew attacks from various factions of the conservative elite. The dispute has also been reflected in the Iranian media, with IRNA favouring the Ahmadinejad administration.