Former Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has once again written a letter to the chief commander of the Quds Force to elaborate on how and why the military unit allegedly paid his former deputy millions of dollars.
Ahmadinejad implicitly threatened the commander, saying he is prepared to disclose his government’s business interactions with the Quds Force.
The Quds Force is responsible for Iran’s extraterritorial military operations. Though affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Quds Force reports directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Ahmadinejad’s letter almost coincided with the arrest of two of his close aides in recent days, on convictions stemming from their service in the former president’s administration.
According to the Dolat-i Bahar (Government of the Spring) website, which supports the former president, Ahmadinejad wrote a letter to Major General Qasem Soleimani demanding he explain how and why the military unit under his command had allegedly paid millions of dollars to former Deputy President Hamid Baghaei.
Four days earlier, on March 13, Baghaei, who served as deputy president for executive affairs during Ahmadinejad’s second term, was placed behind bars to begin his prison term.
Baghaei was sentenced in December to 15 years in prison for embezzlement and illegal business transactions.
Ahmadinejad says Baghaei was sent to prison on charges receiving millions of dollars from the Quds Force to distribute among African leaders but instead pocketing the money.
Referring to his previous letter to Soleimani, Ahmadinejad asked on March 17 that the Quds Force commander either refute the charges against Baghaei or explain “based on what law” and for “what purpose and from what sources” the Quds Force paid Baghaei millions of dollars at a time when he held no governmental post.
Based on a statement issued by the office of Tehran’s prosecutor-general, Baghaei was charged with pocketing 3,766,000 euros and $590,000 in cash that he received from the Quds Force. He was expected to distribute the money among several heads of African states during a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held in 2012 in Tehran.
At the time, Baghaei had no governmental responsibility.
Nevertheless, according to Ahmadinejad, Baghaei has been unfairly condemned to 15 years’ imprisonment and a fine of more than $11 million.
The former deputy president also wrote a letter to Soleimani, demanding he refute the allegations.
Soleimani has responded to neither Baghaei’s nor Ahmadinejad’s letter.