In his latest letter to the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls the heads of all three branches of government a “gang,” and accuses them of abusing their power to imprison his allies.
The letter published January 21 on the pro-Ahmadinejad website Dolat-e Bahar (the Government of the Spring), was sent to the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei December 18.
In the letter Ahmadinejad says the Speaker of Parliament and the head of the judiciary, the Larijani brothers Ali and Sadeq, have joined forces with President Rouhani to attack the former president’s supporters. He also said they are responsible for the recent unrest and protests expressing dissatisfaction with the Islamic Republic establishment.
Ahmadinejad went on to say that an appeals court had upheld a verdict against his close ally and former chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, “despite faults in the prosecution’s case,” and without respect for legal procedures. He said the verdict proves the court’s loyalty to Rouhani.
Directly addressing the heads of the three branches of power and their supporters, Ahmadinejad asked “Is there any better way to tackle the current challenges than deferring to the popular vote and holding new elections? Or perhaps they believe that they should remain in power at any cost and the people and the country should endure them until their terms are over?”
Referring to his “still unanswered previous letters,” Ahmadinejad urged Khamenei to step in and end the injustice of such "politically motivated verdicts" against the “servants” and “revolutionary children of the nation.”
In previous letters to the Supreme Leader Ahmadinejad has lambasted the entire political system of Iran. He further warned that “public dissatisfaction with the regime’s performance is serious and extremely high.” He also demanded structural reforms in institutions such as the conservative-led Guardians Council and the judiciary and called for the establishment of a constitutional court and a ban on the armed forces intervening in political and economic activities.
The former president’s explicit criticism of the ruling system has been widely circulated in social media.
Khamenei has so far not responded directly to any of Ahmadinejad’s comments and letters, though he has implicitly admonished him in speeches on at least two occasions.
Political analysts inside Iran are unsure how to account for the former president suddenly turning on a system that supported him while he was in power. Two of the letters, dated February 19 and March 13, 2018, were published following the arrest of Mashaei and another close aide, Hamid Baqaei.
Baqaei was sentenced to fifteen years for bribery and illegal possession of public assets. Mashaei was arrested after publicly burning the verdict against Baqaei on March 15, 2018. He was later sentenced to 6.5 years in prison.
Lambasting the judiciary for the sentence, Ahmadinejad writes, "If Mashaei had not burnt the verdict against Baqaei, I would have personally done it."