Tehran’s Friday mass Imam, Kazem Sedighi, warned worshippers on Friday January 2 that “sedition”, the term the establishment uses to refer to the 2009 election protesters and the Green Movement, “has not been uprooted.”

Sedighi said: “The influence of seditious elements in certain areas of the executive branch are a grave concern… universities have become a safe haven and advertising venue for some of them.”

The reformist candidates of the 2009 election challenged the legitimacy of the vote count and triggered widespread street protests, bringing the country into serious political crisis.

The two candidates, MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, are now under house arrest, and many protesters were also arrested and sentenced to long prison terms.

The victory of the more moderate candidate Hassan Rohani in the 2013 elections has made conservative factions in the establishment wary of a reformist rise to power.

The Tehran Friday mass Imam told worshippers on January 2: “Seditious elements are making plans to take over the Assembly of Experts and the Parliament… they are trying to destabilize the regime.”

The Rohani administration has tried to reconcile the different factions of the Islamic Republic establishment, which were severely fractured following the 2009 election protests, but those efforts have been seriously impeded by the more conservative factions, which refuse to change their rhetoric in describing the opposition as “seditious”.