Responding to an ultimatum issued by Mahmud Ahmadinejad, the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, has ordered his staff to publish details about the legal cases filed against the former president.
Ahmadinejad issued a video message on December 17 in which he demanded that Larijani make public documents proving accusations against him and his allies. Ahmadinejad threatened that otherwise he would release incriminating evidence about the justice department within 48 hours.
A day later, the government’s official news agency IRNA cited Larijani’s order to judiciary officials, “While avoiding quarrelsome disputes, we should respond to misgivings and clarify doubts up to the required necessary point.”
Larijani insisted that by publishing “fake news” and information based on “human rights excuses,” some of the “convicts” are falsely presented as “heroes”, whereas what has so far been in the media are not the real charges they face.
However, the head of the judiciary did not elaborate further and stopped short of mentioning any specific legal cases.
Hours earlier, Prosecutor-General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri had described Ahmadinejad’s two-term presidency as a period of lawlessness and lies.
Tensions began during his presidency between Ahmadinejad and the Larijani brothers -- Sadeq, who controls the judiciary, and Ali, who is speaker of parliament.
In the video clip, the former president maintained that Larijani had described him and his allies with adjectives tantamount to criminal charges, including seditionist and devious.
In the Iranian conservatives’ vocabulary, the term “seditionist” refers to those who incited a long-lasting rebellion immediately after the controversial presidential election in 2009.
Based on the same vocabulary, the term “devious” is exclusively set aside for describing Ahmadinejad, his close allies, and whoever supports them.
Ahmadinejad’s friction with Larijani has significantly deepened since his former presidential deputy for executive affairs, Hamid Baghaei, was detained and prosecuted for financial corruption.
Baghaei, currently freed on a heavy bail, has also repeatedly lambasted Iran’s top judge for being a ruthless, corrupt dictator.
Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad and his companions recently wrote a letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asking him to step in and assign Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahroudi -- chairman of the Expediency Council, deputy speaker of the Assembly of Experts, and a former head of the judiciary -- to weigh the legal charges. They have insisted they are innocent and the charges filed against them fabricated.
Khamenei has yet to publicly address the issue.