The son of Iranian Supreme Leader’s representative in Manchester has been selected by Liberal Democrats as a candidate to run for a seat in the British parliament.
Ali Avaei who has been a member of the Liberal Democratic party for more than a decade immigrated to Great Britain in 2001. He is running for Newcastle upon Tyne Central constituency.
However, many Iranians on social media have raised alarm, not just because his father is the representative of Iran’s authoritarian ruler, but also because his uncle Alireza Avaei was a long-time judicial official in Iran accused of involvement in human rights violations.
Alireza Avaei was sanctioned by the European Union in 2011 for his substantial role “in violating the rights of Iranian citizens”.
In an interview with Manoto, a London-based Persian-language TV station, Ali Avaei said he is an “independent individual”. He added that Liberal Democrats have a problem with all Middle Eastern governments and their aim is to bring these regimes closer to liberalism.
Some Iranian critics have called Ali Avaei with the derogatory label “Aghazadeh”, a Persian word roughly meaning “prince”. The term is used for children of influential Islamic Republic regime insiders who enjoy many privileges, including studying or relocating abroad.