About Khamenei’s Military Advisor and Hojjatiyeh Community

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“Fars” Press has published several exclusive photos of “Mohammad Salimi”, the advisor of the leader of Islamic Republic in military affairs; some gloomy photos of the last days of death of this famous military commander. On Saturday 30th of January he died at the age of 78.

But Salimi’s more exclusive image is historical. He was a member of Hojjatiyeh (an extremist Islamic anti-Bahayee community); a community with a lot of fuss and uproars which was dissolved 32 years after Khomeini threatened its authorities. Nevertheless, Ali Akbar Mohtashami Poor the outstanding member of “Assembly of Combatant Clerics” in November 2015 said to “E’temad” newspaper: “The influence of Hojjatiyeh community has passed the warning phase, that is, they crossed many red lines, and dealing with them has become very hard. Only God’s assistance can help and what Imam had warned in the past is now fire under the ash.”

Mohammad Salimi
Mohammad Salimi

The establishment of Hojjatiyeh community dates back to 1953 and has religious origin; fighting against Bahayees. Mohammad Salimi, was one of the famous propagandists of Hojjatiyeh community. Lawyer “Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabayee”, in a talk with “Jamaran” site in October 2013 noted Salimi’s activities before the revolution: “There was a strong control in the army and the only religious activity which was to some extent free was Hojjatiyyeh and this community had less influence among the (air force) warrant officers and there were two brigades; brigade of Hojjatiyyeh and supporters of Dr. Ali Shari’ati. But it had more influence among the (higher ranked) officers. I remember that colonel Salimi in 1977 had ceremonies in his house with his own name and there was a lecture on the occasion of 15th of Sha’ban (Arabic lunar month in which the last and absent Imam of Shiites was born) which we attended; for example, martyr Sayyad, martyr Aghareb Parast and martyr Kolahdooz were all members of Hojjatiyyeh.”

The Iranian historian, Abdollah Shahbazi wrote about this: “People like colonel Mohammad Salimi were the community’s well-known propagandists.”

According to the report published by “the Foundation for Preservation of Sacred Defense Works and Values” the membership of Salimi in Hojjatiyyeh community dates back to the year 1960: “He entered the religious (Hojjatiyyeh) community and travelled to most cities as the missionary of this community… he managed to change 300 bahayee-born people into Moslem and stop about 2000 military or civil people from joining Bahayee sect….. on 18th of October, 1972 with 30 people of his allies entered a bahayee gathering in Tehran to disrupt their lecture and started to dispense declarations against Bahayeeism but was arrested by the police and was delivered to the intelligence service.”

At that time Salimi had just arrived from America. Such activities naturally were effective on his promotions during the days after revolution in the structure of Islamic Republic System and sent him to headquarter of irregular warfare as the commander. In the year 1981 he became the Secretary of National Security Council and in November 1981 became defense minister, the position he kept until November 1984.

This period was full of stories of Hojjatiyyeh community and finally he had to resign: “Defense minister (colonel Salimi) came to see me… told me about his meeting with Imam and his formal resignation from Hojjatiyeh” (Hashemi Rafsanjani, memories of 3rd of July, 1983)

However, this resignation didn’t cause him to leave his friends in Hojjatiyeh community. Hashemi Rafsanjani wrote in his memories of 15th of February 1985: “In the afternoon colonel Salimi came; there was a discussion about Hojjatiyyeh and according to Imam, if he officially and directly declared the dissolution of the community there would be the possibility to defend the people.”

About the history of the relation between Khamenei and Salimi, there have been several speculations. We can understand from Hashemi Rafsanjani’s memories that Ali Khamenei didn’t agree with changes in ministry of defense so much: “Mr. Khamenei said some things about the changes (commands) in the army and (change of) minister of defense on the phone. We decided to discuss in person later.” (Memories of Hashemi, 28th of August 1984)
On July 1984 Salimi managed to win only 102 votes of the MPs of the second parliament. This was the end of his presence in the first government of Mir Hosein Moosavi. Though, at that time Khamenei as the president did not have the power and options to stop such changes. The triangle of Khomeini’s office, Hashemi Rafsanjani, and the left wing was the determiner of the equations.

By the end of this period, Ali Khamenei appointed him as the military advisor and special inspector of president and in 1989 gave him his new position; military advisor of the commander-in-chief on land force affairs; the position he kept till death and like all his secrets took to his grave.

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