The presence of reformists and other politicians who had somewhat been removed from the Islamic Republic at a recent ceremony in the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei once again drew attention.

Notable figures such as Eshaq Jahangiri, Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Ali Akbar Salehi, Reza Ardakanian and Masoud Soltanifar attended the event, alongside several ministers and officials from Hassan Rouhani’s administration (although Rouhani himself was absent).

Several reformist figures, including Mohammed Ali Abtahi, Elias Hazrati, Mohsen Hashemi, and Majid Ansari, also attended.

Abtahi’s frequent appearances at such ceremonies have garnered attention, particularly due to his arrest in 2009.

The selection of guests for ceremonies hosted by Khamenei follows a process overseen by Asghar Hejazi, the man in charge of security at the leader’s office.

Individuals are personally invited, and the process is meticulously organized.

Invitations for ceremonies adhere to a structured routine. For public events, invitation cards are distributed to institutions, while specific individuals are directly selected for private gatherings.

Hejazi oversees this process and manages communication with invitees, a responsibility previously held by Vahid Haqqanian during his tenure in Khamenei’s office.

This protocol extends to meetings involving political figures and other notable individuals, such as Alireza Ghazveh and Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, who play roles in arranging gatherings like poetry readings.

Ghazveh, for instance, revealed that a group of poets determines the lineup for poetry readings in Khamenei’s presence.

He clarified that he does not unilaterally decide on attendees or performers.

However, poet and documentarian Mohammed Hossein Jafarian disclosed in 2011 that poems presented in these meetings undergo scrutiny, sometimes with requests made beforehand for review and approval.

Furthermore, during these gatherings, a designated smoking area is provided, with cigarettes supplied by Khamenei’s office, according to Mehr news agency.

Guests and speakers for student and academic events are typically invited by the university’s representative body appointed by the supreme leader.

In 2014, notable figures like Sadegh Zibakalam were among those invited to the ceremony hosted by the Office of the Leader of the Islamic Republic.

Zibakalam recounted that Ebrahim Kalantari, the head of the Khamenei representative office at Tehran University, personally delivered his invitation card just three hours before the event.

In gatherings involving economic figures, Ali Agha Mohammadi, the head of the Economic Surveys group, plays a crucial role in extending invitations.

Several reformist figures attended the recent ceremony.

Mohammad Ali Abtahi shared a photo of his invitation, highlighting his previous attendance at events hosted by Khamenei’s office.

Among the other attendees was Mahmoud Sadeghi, a former member of parliament whose eligibility for running for office was again denied.

Sobh-e-Sadegh magazine, affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), emphasized “the historical significance of the Leader’s Office as a gathering place for those invested in the revolution and the system.”

“It suggested that any exclusion of figures should not be attributed to the host’s hospitality but rather to changes in the behavior of past attendees,” it wrote.

While the initial prediction suggested a potential turning point in Iranian politics, subsequent invitations, including those preceding elections, were deemed to carry propaganda messages without leading to significant shifts or opportunities for ousted politicians to return to government.

Source » iranwire