On May 29, an Iranian dissident group known as “GhyamSarnegouni,” or “Rise to Overthrow” in Farsi, announced it had taken down several websites and servers affiliated with the Iranian regime’s presidency. During this operation, the group published numerous classified documents, shedding light on different dark aspects of Iran’s ruling theocracy, laying bare its vulnerabilities.
The group also successfully bypassed the regime’s digital security measures and replaced photos depicting Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi with images of Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian Resistance, and Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Additionally, on various websites, the defaced images of Khamenei and Raisi were symbols of opposition and disagreement.
The dates of the documents obtained and released by the group indicate that the targeted servers have been infiltrated on numerous events, confirming the endeavor was not a one-time event.
Among many documents obtained and released by this group is a letter by Raisi to Ali Shamkhani, the recently ousted Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC). While there were many speculations concerning Shamkhani’s removal from the regime’s highest security position, the letter confirms that he was removed from this position amid the rising infightings in the clerical regime.
In this letter, Raisi criticizes Shamkhani for giving only “descriptive and analytical” reports about the nationwide Iran protests that erupted in September, adding that the regime’s SNSC is expected to offer “meta-analysis and solution and action to solve problems.”
Raisi also lashes out at Shamkhani for countering Khamenei’s narrative that the popular protests were “small incidents provoked by the enemy.”
“Briefly, the Supreme Leader’s meta-analysis of the recent riots was that ‘the country was on the path of progress and overcoming obstacles in the last year. The enemy understood that the sanctions did not stop us, so they turned to chaos. If the secretariat accepts this analysis, why did it fail to notice anything in the numerous reports it has submitted, and why is there is no hint reflecting this view?” the letter reads.
The letter also questions the SNSC’s reports on the situation while acknowledging that “in addition to the initial intelligence surprise of September 23, in particular the events of October 26, as well as the strikes and riots on November 15, 16, and 17, no prediction and prevention were made, and the analysis was based only on general and imprecise estimates and calls in the social media.”
In this letter, Raisi reminds Shamkhani that the “Supreme Security Council and other intelligence-security agencies must move ahead of the events to provide an estimate to predict, foresight, and shape the future and be surprising themselves. Unfortunately, in recent months, the reports have mostly described the streets’ events and waiting to discover the surprising devices of the enemies.”
The letter also asks the SNSC’s recently booted chief that “Some of your Excellency’s reports, inconsistencies, deficiencies, and defects of the country’s intelligence systems were also reflected. But how should it be fixed? If the approvals of SNSC have not been implemented, who has been questioned, and what is the guarantee that the implementation of council approvals actually does take place?”
Raisi finally reminds Shamkhani that “As per the Supreme Leader’s expectation, we shouldn’t be limiting ourselves to only describing the situation, but rather we must also find solutions and take action to solve problems and shortcomings and adhere to their requirements.”
Khamenei sought to “consolidate power” in his regime by selecting members of parliament and appointing Raisi as president. Speculations about growing tensions between Shamkhani and Raisi emerged right from the beginning of Raisi’s presidency.
The Supreme National Security Council, under the control of the clerical regime, holds sway over crucial matters, including foreign policy and internal instability, and is accountable solely to Khamenei. Consequently, any disagreement between Shamkhani and Raisi could have dangerous implications for the so-called “consolidated system.”
The leaked letter confirms that removing Shamkhani from his position as a high-ranking security official exposes the intensifying internal conflicts and crises within the regime. Khamenei’s push for a “consolidated” system highlights the latter even more. If Khamenei cannot tolerate high-ranking officials like Shamkhani, who has a history of criminal activity and is considered a close associate, it raises doubts about whether the regime can hold ground in light of the looming storms ahead.