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) and conservative rivals of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to describe Ahmadinejad's entourage which functions like a faction or party.
People who have been described as associated with the "deviant current" include:
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
- Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, described as the leader of the movement
- Hamid Baghaei
- Mohammad Reza Rahimi
- Ali Nikzad
- Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi
- Mohammed Sharif Malekzadeh
- Mohammad Aliabadi
- Ali Akbar Javanfekr
- Abdolreza Davari, senior media figure in presidential administration
- Habibollah Joz-e-Khorasani, financial affairs director of the presidential administration
- Abbas Amirifar, cleric, head of the cultural committee of presidential administration
- Kazem Kiapasha, presidential aide
- Bahman Sharifzadeh, cleric
- Abbas Ghaffari, allegedly Ahmadinejad's personal exorcist
- Ali Asghar Parhizkar, executive director of the Arvand Free Zone
- Alireza Moghimi, executive director of the Aras Free Zone
- Parivash Satvati, widow of Hossein Fatemi
The faction is described as "nationalist conservative" by Stratfor. 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. 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. 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.
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.
Monotheism and Justice Front, a group that endorsed a list of candidates for 2012 parliamentary elections is reportedly linked to Mashaei. The results showed a major defeat for them in the elections, and they only won 9 seats, according to Deutsche Welle. 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.
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". He was disqualified by the Guardian Council. In the 2017 election, Ahmdinejad who backed Hamid Baghaei, registered as a candidate along with him, but both were disqualified.
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