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Ahmadinejad Criticizes Iran's Judiciary After Arrests Of Supporters

Former Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad

Iran’s former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has renewed his criticism of Iran’s powerful judiciary following the arrests of several of his supporters.

In a letter marking the celebrations of the anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, Ahmadinejad said the judiciary has become “the main pillar of oppression” against the Iranian people.

The letter follows reports that eight media activists who support Ahmadinejad have been detained.

The reason for their arrests was not immediately clear. Some reportedly have been released on bail.

“Someone in Tehran orders media activists from different provinces to be arrested,” Ahmadinejad wrote in his letter, which claims some of the activists were held in solitary confinement and forced to make "dictated" confessions.

Ahmadinejad, a hard-liner who was president from 2005 to 2013, has become increasingly isolated for challenging Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his powerful allies, namely the judiciary.

In 2017, Ahmadinejad accused the judiciary of "dictatorship" and said that it is more powerful than Khamenei.

The Guardians Council -- which vets presidential candidates -- prevented Ahmadinejad and one of his top aides from running in the 2017 presidential election that returned President Hassan Rohani to office for a second term.

Khamenei had suggested before the Guardians Council's decision that Ahmadinejad's candidacy would not be in the best interests of the country.

With reporting by, RFE/RL's Radio Farda, and the BBC