As talk of putting opposition leaders on trial heats up in Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad involves himself in the issue by calling for the prosecution of “the power-holders and the affluent” in the country.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony for the newly-appointed Judiciary Chief Sadeq Larijani, the Iranian president described the country’s Judiciary as the body responsible for restoration of peace and balance and administration of justice in different segments of the society.
President Ahmadinejad won his first term in 2005 on a platform of populist economic reform. He promised to put the profit of the country’s vast oil wealth on the dinner tables of the people and root out corruption.
In the months leading to the June 12 presidential election, President Ahmadinejad’s rivals began scrutinizing his record and questioned his performance during his first four years in office.
During televised presidential debates President Ahmadinejad reacted to barrages of criticism leveled at his management by accusing two former Iranian presidents Seyyed Mohammad Khatami and Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani — whom he charged with supporting his main rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi — of masterminding a plot to push him out of power.
President Ahmadinejad focused his attacks on prominent political figure Ayatollah Hashemi-Rafsanjani by citing what he described as examples of mismanagement and corruption as well as promoting aristocracy in the country during his presidency.
Following the televised verbal, Ayatollah Hashemi-Rafsanjani wrote a letter to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution complaining that President Ahmadinejad had sought to smear his reputation through spreading “insults, lies and false allegations.”
On Monday, the Iranian president maintained his post-vote stance and called for the prosecution of ‘certain officials’ in the country.
“If the power-holders and the wealthy are taken to court, then there would be no place left for those who hold lower ranks to commit any wrongdoings,” President Ahmadinejad said in Monday’s ceremony.
Monday marked the second time that the two officials – Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad — attended a ceremony together after the latter’s controversial re-election on June 12.
According to Iran’s Labor News Agency (ILNA), the Iranian president left Monday’s session before Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani delivered his speech.
Earlier during the inauguration ceremony before the president’s address, Ayatollah Larijani said “no one should dare act against the law and violate the rights of the nation,” making a pledge not to show mercy to those who violate people’s rights.
“In this critical mission, I vow not to show mercy to wrongdoers,” the newly-appointed judiciary chief said, promising to subject them to the court of law.
President Ahmadinejad, for his part, welcomed the idea put forward by Ayatollah Larijani.
“I am so pleased that the new judiciary chief has announced that he knows no limits in dealing with wrongdoers,” Ahmadinejad said.
The call for the prosecution of certain figures in Iran follows an earlier request by Islamic Revolution Guards Corps generals, Principlist politicians and clerics who urged the arrest and punishment of opposition leaders and their supporters.
Following the controversial trial of post-vote detainees, a Principlist lawmaker, Hamid Resaie, told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) that “the confessions have opened the way to dealing with the leaders of the unrest. There is no longer any reason to tolerate or compromise.”
Another Principlist figure Elias Naderan said, “Those within the inner circle who managed the unrest must be put on trial. We shouldn’t chase after weak, second-class figures with no influence.”