February 21, 2018

KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:

Iranian authorities, Sufi leader move toward reconciliation (Al-Monitor, February 21, 2018)

After spiraling tensions and the deadly clashes, it seems that both sides have adopted a softer tone to achieve a resolution. Nour Ali Tabandeh, the Gonabadi grand master, issued a statement Feb. 20 expressing regret over the death of police and Basij forces.

He addressed his followers in his statement, saying their travel to Tehran to stage a protest was not right. "If you are worried about my health and you want to come to Tehran, [I should say] thank God I'm well and there is no concern about that. ... [Do] not come to Tehran during this period," Tabandeh said.

Adopting a conciliatory tone, Tabandeh added, "Fortunately, now that the country is in the hands of leaders who believe in God and the Prophet [Muhammad], it would be good if they attempt to eliminate the hostilities that can lead to these kinds of painful clashes."

Seemingly addressing those reportedly among his followers who were behind the killing of the security personnel, Tabandeh noted, "Everyone should know that only those who observe Sharia and spiritual orders are considered dervishes, and they are the real dervishes."

Adopting the same soft tone, Interior Minister Abdolrahman Rahmani Fazli seemed to want to distance "real" Gonabadis from the violence, claiming on Feb. 21 that those who clashed with police were not dervishes.

He stated, "We know the dervishes as a wise, logical and moderate current. ... We don't attribute Monday's events on Pasdaran Street to this current."

Posted by at February 21, 2018 5:49 PM

  

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