Sun, March 13, 2011 | The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
Iran: Ministry of Intelligence steps up Activities as Opposition Demonstrations Resume
Last Thursday (March 3), Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei held a brief visit to the Ministry of Intelligence headquarters in Tehran. Khamenei visited an exhibition dedicated to the activity and achievements of intelligence fighters, received a briefing on the progress of the ministry activities, and met with its senior officials and workers.
During a conversation held by Khamenei with the ministry staff, he expressed his deep appreciation for their activity and lavished praise on the ministry’s achievements in service of the revolution since the establishment of the Islamic republic. He noted that the Ministry of Intelligence is currently an important base for struggle and jihad in the intelligence war being waged across the globe. He said that the Iranian intelligence is particularly noteworthy for its unique modus operandi, and that it does not imitate models used by other intelligence organizations in the world. The Supreme Leader called on the ministry staff to preserve its superiority through faithfulness to the principles of the revolution and Islamic law. Khamenei also stressed the need to base the ministry’s work on a long-term, comprehensive strategy, follow political developments in the Middle East and North Africa, and defend Iran against infiltration attempts by its domestic and foreign enemies.
In the beginning of the Supreme Leader’s visit, Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi listed the achievements made by the Ministry of Intelligence in recent years, saying that they were made possible thanks to the cooperation between young, pious forces and experienced revolutionary forces. Dedication to the values of the revolution coupled with unique knowledge, experience, and skills are the hallmarks of the ministry, facilitating the changes in the various intelligence-related and technical areas, Moslehi said. Speaking about the “soft war” waged by Iran’s enemies, the intelligence minister said that the intelligence fighters have extensive capabilities and potential, and that the ministry has adopted an offensive approach (www.khamenei.ir, March 3).
The Supreme Leader’s visit to the Ministry of Intelligence headquarters reflects the authorities’ increasing efforts to improve the response given by the ministry to the ongoing activities of the reformist opposition, particularly in light of the regime’s concerns over its connections with Western intelligence agencies. In an interview given by the intelligence minister to an Iranian TV show called “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”, shown on February 24, Moslehi emphasized the significance of the Ministry of Intelligence in dealing with subversive elements since the Islamic revolution. He accused the reformist opposition leaders of holding contacts with foreign elements in the West whose aim is to destabilize the regime. Moslehi noted that Western intelligence services were involved in organizing the opposition demonstrations on February 14, saying that their participants included royalists and anti-revolutionists. According to Moslehi, foreign intelligence services made use of computer networks and social networks to help organize the demonstrations. Moslehi stressed the importance of the intelligence war in dealing with the schemes of the regime’s enemies, noting that in recent months his ministry had collected a wealth of information on the opposition’s activities that will make it possible to take action against it in the future.
Earlier this week, Moslehi published on the official government website a report on the Supreme Leader’s visit to the Ministry of Intelligence headquarters. He said that, during the visit, the Supreme Leader had discussed the war between foreign intelligence agencies and the Iranian regime, expressed his approval of the ministry’s policy towards the opposition, and stressed the need to deliver all the information gathered from various sources to the ministry. Moslehi noted that offense is the best defense, and that the ministry therefore intends to adopt an offensive program to deal with foreign intelligence services (www.dolat.ir, March 5).
The Supreme Leader’s visit to the Ministry of Intelligence headquarters was widely covered on Iranian media, which stressed the significance of the intelligence campaign in dealing with the domestic and foreign challenges facing Iran. An editorial published by the conservative daily Keyhan said that the Ministry of Intelligence must identify in advance those who would compromise state security and prevent any hostile association. The ministry must preserve internal solidarity and not be influenced by political or partisan rivalry. It is also required to remain vigilant over the increasing attempts by Iran’s enemies to extend their influence in the country. Iran’s enemies currently employ many diverse tactics, and the intelligence is tasked with the responsibility to use all possible means to counter their attempts to infiltrate into Iran. According to the daily, the intelligence organizations are now more significant than the military forces (Keyhan, March 5).