Even though Hassan Rouhani is said to be the president of Iran, it is the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei who has the final say as to what Iran's foreign policy is. Which is why the former mayor of Tehran, Gholam Hossein Karbaschi is facing a public indictment by Iran for criticizing their role in the Syrian Civil War. Its been reported that Karbaschi was giving a speech in support of Rouhani's re-election campaign on April 29, in Esfahan province, when he said that financing Iranian soldiers, buying arms and killing was no way to find peace for the Shiite Muslims in Syria.

Court issuing summons to Karbaschi

As detailed in a Blasting News article about Iran's financial support for Hezbollah's fight in Syria and their involvement with the Assad regime and other regional nations, Syria has become a breeding ground for supporting factions, ideologies and a power struggle over Syria's future. On May 2, it was reported that Ahmad Khosravi Wafa, who is the chief justice for Esfahan, said that they would be summoning Karbaschi to court for insulting martyrs and what they refer to as the Defenders of the Shrine -- those defenders being Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the shrine being the Shrine of Zeinab in Damascus.

At the time that the chief justice said that they had summoned the former Tehran mayor, Karbaschi said that he had not received any summons.

But this is not the first time that he's been in trouble with the Iranian government. In the late 90's, Gholam was sentenced to three years for embezzlement and released under a pardon by the Supreme Leader. Now he is the Sec-Gen of the Executives of Construction Party, which is divided into a left and a right faction with Karbaschi part of the more liberal Esfahan group.

'Blasphemous' criticism against Islamic Revolutionary Guard

As with many arguments over the solution to Syria's war, Karbaschi is calling for diplomacy in the region. But even Rouhani's spokesman, Bahram Ghassemi, said that fighting ISIS on the ground doesn't require diplomacy nor are they deserving of it. Mansour Haghighatpour who is an advisor for the Iranian Parliament has made the same argument that many Americans have made about war.

In the United States, it's common to praise the military for taking action in World War II against Nazi Germany, saying that most people would otherwise be speaking German.

Haghighatpour said that if it wasn't for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard in Syria, Karbaschi would be "hiding in a hole." The weight of criticism has come down on Karbaschi, especially from the press, who have written headlines saying that he was inviting the Islamic State to invade Iran when he made his statement. Karbaschi has said that there was more focus on a small part of what he said rather than the whole statement.