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Khamenei Critic Defiant In Face Of Court Summons

Abolfazl Ghadyani former supporter of the Islamic republic and currently one of the most vocal critics of Ayatollah Khamenei in Iran. File photo

A prominent former revolutionary turned opponent of the ruling Islamic establishment in Iran says he will ignore a summons to appear before the Revolutionary Court.

Abolfazl Qadyani, a co-founder of the political group Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution of Iran Organization (MIRO), who helped the clerics consolidate power after the overthrow of the monarchy forty years ago, says he’ll ignore the summons because he doesn’t recognize the authority of the Revolutionary Court, a special court set up to prosecute those accused of "crimes" such as blasphemy and attempting to overthrow the Islamic ruling system.

Qadyani likewise disputed the legitimacy of the Special Clerical Court, which is tasked with prosecuting clerics accused of wrongdoing.

Qadyani, 73, is currently one of the most vociferous opponents of the Islamic Republic's system and specifically its Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, among prominent figures residing in Iran.

Last year, Qadyani on two occasions harshly attacked the Islamic Republic political system and eventually the hardliners who follow the Supreme Leader's political line decided to bite back, summoning the critic to courts.

In a letter published a few days ago on an opposition website, Qadyani called the courts “unlawful” and their rulings “null and void.” Qadyani said the two parallel court systems are not independent but are rather “obedient executioners of whatever is dictated by the intelligence apparatuses, who for their part, and in tandem with the judiciary, are assigned to implement orders issued by Iran's current dictator, Mr. Khamenei.”

Qadyani (also spelled as Ghadyani) was sentenced to six years in prison in 2009 for publicly challenging the outcome of the controversial presidential election that year, which officially led to the victory of the hardline incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Since his release he has relentlessly skewered the Islamic ruling system.

According to the summons, Qadyani is accused of "spreading false news" and should present himself to the court February 27. Last April, Qadyani accused Khamenei of imprisoning activists, depriving the nation of free and fair elections, and ruling without accountability, thus creating a “despotic regime.”

In November, Qadyani went further, calling for Khamenei to step down, insisting that his concentrated power and lifetime appointment are the main sources of widespread corruption across the country.

"The fear of losing power is a permanent nightmare that blurs the dictator's sight and forces him toward immoral and unlawful moves in the hope of retaining power and increasing his dominance over the nation,” Qadyani wrote in his essay.