A former aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader has called Ayatollah Ali Khamenei a “despot” after being issued a new subpoena while already facing a three-year jail sentence.
Abolfazl Qadiani (Ghadiani) must attend court within 10 days but, writing for foreign-based opposition website Kalameh, he said he will refuse to do so.
The 73-year-old slammed the subpoena as an “overture to holding a session of the illegal Revolutionary Court dominated by intelligence agents, and both under the full control of Iran's current despot, Mr Khamenei”.
Qadiani who had previously called Khamenei a dictator now has used the term "despot".
He added that the warrant against him applies to a case that is three years old.
Qadiani went on to warn that recent reshuffles of top positions in the Islamic Republic suggests a period of increased violence and terror is to come.
Ayatollah Khamenei has appointed a new head of the judiciary, replaced Friday-Prayer imams and appointed a new head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps in recent weeks.
Responding to Khamenei’s defense of Iran’s constitution last week in a meeting with students, Qadiani added: “The Islamic Republic is incorrigible”. He said that it is impossible to limit the Supreme Leader’s powers because in case of any meaningful limitation, it would cease to exist.
Qadiani, a staunch revolutionary in the 1970s and ’80s, got into new legal troubles after calling for the position of supreme leader to be abolished, last year.
Qadiani is a leading member of the Islamic leftist political organization IRMO (the Islamic Revolution’s Mujahedeen Organization), a group that strongly supported the Islamic Republic until 2009 when they fell out with Khamenei after the disputed re-election of populist President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The group also initially contributed to the forming of the Islamic Republic’s internal security system as many of its members said in various interviews.
After falling out with Khamenei, many of the organization’s leaders, including Qadiani ended up in jail for a few years and one of their outspoken members, former deputy interior minister Mostafa Tajzadeh spent more than seven years in solitary confinement.
His son, Morteza, says his father has received two years for “insulting the leader” and one year for “propaganda against the regime”. He might end up serving the longer of the two sentences.
He has also been ordered to read three pro-revolution and Islamic Republic books, one praising Khamenei, and copying them by hand. Hand-copying texts is considered a punishment in Iranian elementary schools.
The former revolutionary turned opponent has been criticizing Khamenei since 2009 when highly questionable poll results, believed to be engineered by military and intelligence organs, declared hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the winner in presidential elections.