Deviant current

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The "Deviant current" or "Current of deviation" (Persian: جریان انحرافی‎, translit. Jarīān-e Enherāfī) is a term used by Iranian officials (e.g. high-ranking clerics, Revolutionary Guards commanders)[1] and conservative rivals[1] of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to describe Ahmadinejad's entourage[2] which functions like a faction[3] or party.[4]

The term was coined in 2011, after an open conflict between Ahmadinejad and the Supreme leader Ali Khamenei.[5][6]


People who have been described as associated with the "deviant current" include:


The faction is described as "nationalist conservative" by Stratfor.[20] According to Bernd Kaussler, assistant professor of political science at James Madison University, their ideology is a combination of millenarian, nationalist, populist and the principlist rhetoric.[8] The tendency tries to nationalize Shiite Islamism, and advocates an “Iranian School of Islam” which seems antagonistic toward the Velayat Faqih, an idea that formed the basis of the current establishment in Iran.[8] Ahmadinejad and his associates have regularly used the word "spring" and the phrase "Long live the spring" as a slogan, which is believed to have connotations for the Arab Spring, although Ahmadinejad claims it refers to the reappearance of Imam Mahdi.[21]


A group is active under the acronym HOMA (standing for Havadarn-e Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Persian, meaning "Supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad") and published an online newspaper with the same name. The public relations team organizes various websites, including Dolat-e Bahar (lit. Government of Spring), Rais Jomhur-e ma (lit. Our President) and Meydan-e Haftadodo (lit. Square 72, named after the neighborhood Ahmadinejad lives in) among others. They maintain online activity elsewhere, running many blogs and social media accounts.[22][23]

Election performance[edit]

Monotheism and Justice Front, a group that endorsed a list of candidates for 2012 parliamentary elections is reportedly linked to Mashaei.[24] The results showed a major defeat for them in the elections,[20] and they only won 9 seats, according to Deutsche Welle.[25] 2013 local elections were the next defeat. The faction were unable to secure a seat in Tehran City Council and even Parvin, Ahmadinejad's sister was unseated.[26]

In a Medvedev/Putin-style scenario, Mashaei ran for president in 2013 election backed by Ahmadinejad, who said "Mashaei means Ahmadinejad and Ahmadinejad means Mashaei".[27] He was disqualified by the Guardian Council. In the 2017 election, Ahmdinejad who backed Hamid Baghaei, registered as a candidate along with him,[28] but both were disqualified.[29]


  1. ^ a b Elling, Ramus Christian (2012). "Matters of Authenticity". In Nabavi, Negin (ed.). Iran: From Theocracy to the Green Movement. Springer. p. 94. ISBN 9780230114692.
  2. ^ Golnaz Esfandiari (19 May 2011), "Decoding Iran's Official Political Glossary", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, retrieved 15 August 2017
  3. ^ "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: the deviant president", The Guardian (Editorial), 20 September 2011, retrieved 15 August 2017, This year, if Ahmadinejad represents any faction in Iran it is one that has been branded "a deviant current".
  4. ^ Abdollah Almasi (29 April 2013), "Ahmadinejad's Plans for the Presidential Election", Iran's View, retrieved 15 August 2017, The Government’s critics believe that Esfandiar Rahim Mashaee who is the head of a party, which they label as “Deviant Current”.
  5. ^ Alem, Yasmin (2016). "Electoral Politics, Power, and Prospects for Reform". In Brumberg, Daniel; Farhi, Farideh (eds.). Power and Change in Iran: Politics of Contention and Conciliation. Indiana Series in Middle East Studies. Indiana University Press. p. 177. ISBN 9780253020796.
  6. ^ Ehteshami, Anoushiravan (2017). "Politics of the Islamic Republic". Iran: Stuck in Transition. The Contemporary Middle East. Taylor & Francis. p. 90. ISBN 9781351985451.
  7. ^ a b Oliver Borszik (November 2014), "Papers International Sanctions against Iran under President Ahmadinejad: Explaining Regime Persistence" (PDF), GIGA Working Papers, Hamburg: German Institute of Global and Area Studies (260)
  8. ^ a b c Bernd Kaussler (January 2012), "Is the End Nigh for the Islamic Republic?", Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, Washington, D.C.: Current Trends in Islamist Ideology (13): 69–90
  9. ^ "Mohammad Reza Rahimi: The story behind the current Iranian President's First Deputy", Iranian Diplomacy, 27 August 2012, retrieved 17 August 2017
  10. ^ "Ahmadinejad minister announces run for presidency", Radio Zamaneh, 31 March 2013, retrieved 15 August 2017
  11. ^ Hooman Majd (5 October 2012), "The Great Debate: Is it Ahmadinejad's last hurrah?", Reuters, retrieved 15 August 2017
  12. ^ a b c Saeed Kamali Dehghan (23 June 2011), "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ally arrested in Iran on corruption charges", The Guardian, retrieved 15 August 2017
  13. ^ Scott Lucas (24 June 2011), "The Latest from Iran (24 June): The Net Closes on Ahmadinejad's Men....Continued", Enduring America, retrieved 15 August 2017
  14. ^ Marcus George (26 September 2012), Stephen Powell (ed.), "Ahmadinejad's aide in prison as Iran president addresses U.N.", Reuters, retrieved 15 August 2017
  15. ^ a b Marcus George (4 June 2014), Stephen Powell (ed.), "Is Ahmadinejad plotting a comeback?", Al-Monitor, retrieved 15 August 2017
  16. ^ Marcus George (17 November 2017), Stephen Powell (ed.), "Ahmadinejad Returns With Vengeance", Iran Wire, retrieved 15 April 2018
  17. ^ a b "Ahmadinejad faces threat to presidency in clash with Khamenei", Radio France Internationale, 7 October 2012, retrieved 15 August 2017
  18. ^ a b "Ahmadinejad warns establishment against extending arrests to cabinet", Radio Zamaneh, 29 June 2012, retrieved 15 August 2017
  19. ^ "Iran: A conflict over authority, or a dispute over responsibilities?" (PDF), Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies (Assessment Report), Doha, May 2011
  20. ^ a b "Iran: Implications of Ahmadinejad's Parliamentary Defeat", Stratfor (Assessment), 5 May 2012, retrieved 2 July 2017
  21. ^ Saeed Kamali Dehghan (13 March 2013), "Ahmadinejad's new pet phrase 'spring' infuriates Iranian establishment", The Guardian, retrieved 15 August 2017
  22. ^ Arash Azizi (5 November 2014), "Is Ahmadinejad making a comeback?", Al-Monitor, retrieved 15 August 2017
  23. ^ Meir Javedanfar (20 April 2014), "Ahmadinejad's return may be boost for Rouhani", Al-Monitor, retrieved 15 August 2017
  24. ^ Abdol Moghset Bani Kamal (2013), "The ninth Majlis elections in Iran: Electoral laws, procedures and institutions", Intellectual Discourse, International Islamic University of Malaysia, 21 (1): 71–86, ISSN 0128-4878
  25. ^ "The Great Disappointments in the Ninth Majlis", Deutsche Welle (in Persian), 3 March 2012, retrieved 15 August 2017
  26. ^ "Reformists return to power in Iran's local elections". Asharq Al Awsat. 20 June 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  27. ^ Saeed Kamali Dehghan (11 May 2013), "Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to stand in Iran presidential election", The Guardian, retrieved 15 August 2017
  28. ^ "Ahmadinejad formally endorses protege for president", Tehran Times, 21 March 2017, retrieved 15 August 2017
  29. ^ "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 'disqualified' from Iran elections". Al Jazeera. 20 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.