On their third consecutive day of taking refuge in a sanctuary south of Tehran, three close allies of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have called upon the Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step in and assign the chairman of the influential Expediency Council to supervise the legal procedure concerning the indictments against them.
Hamid Baghaei, Ali Akbar Javanfekr and Habibollah Khorasani have used the old tactic of “bast neshini” or taking refuge in a sanctuary to protest what they have described as judiciary’s politically motivated decisions against them.
It is the first time that prominent political figures in Iran use the age-old tactic since the founder of Pahlavi dynasty, Reza Shah legally banned it in 1935.
Meanwhile, managing editor of a local news agency, Aria, says that his website has been blocked after publishing Ahmadinejad’s acerbic speech at Shah Abdol-Azim’s shrine, where his close allies have taken refuge.
Ahmadinejad and his allies have long been maintaining that the Islamic Republic’s head of judiciary or Chief-Justice, ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani and his four brothers are attempting to dominate Iran through elimination of all “real Revolutionary forces”, including the former president and his close companions.
The enmity was clearly reflected in the speech delivered by Ahmadinejad at Shah Abdol-Azim’s shrine, where Ahmadinejad accused top judiciary officials of conspiracy against himself and his close ally, insisting that they are attempting to convict his deputy, Hamid Baghaei for political reasons.
Ahmadinejad’s deputy for executive affairs, Hamid Baghaei declared on Wednesday, November 15, that, along with the former president’s aide and accountant, he would take refuge in the sanctuary, disregarding the summons to appear at court.
Ahmadinejad and his allies have long been complaining that the Larijani brothers want to dominate Iran...
The trio has written a letter to the Supreme Leader asking him to step in and assign the chairman of the Expediency Council, deputy speaker of Assembly of Experts and former head of the Islamic Republic’s judiciary, ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi to weigh all legal charges against them. They insist that the charges are unfounded and they are innocent.
According to a website promoting Ahmadinejad, Dolatebahar (the Government of Spring) cited the trio as saying, “If ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi found us guilty, we would demand the highest penalty for our crime”.
But if we were not found guilty, the trio have insisted “ayatollah Shahroudi should instantly remove all injustice imposed on us and lay the groundwork for the dismissal” of all who were behind it.
Ironically, both ayatollahs, Hashemi Shahroudi and Amoli Larijani have repeatedly been introduced by some analysts as possible candidate to replace the current Supreme Leader, ayatollah Khamenei.
Based on video clips of the speech circulated in social media, Ahmadinejad lambasted the judiciary and accused it conspiring to convict Baghaei “without any evidence”.
Baghaei was first arrested for embezzlement in 2015 but, according to Ahmadinejad close allies, he was later freed by the Supreme Leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s special order.
Once again, last July, Baghaei was detained but later released on a huge bail.
Currently, another close ally of Ahmadinejad, Esfandyar Rahim Mashshayee has also been summoned to court for “insulting the Supreme Leader”, “offending the ruling system’s officials” and spreading false information.