Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused a “corrupt ring“within the Iranian intelligence apparatus to maintain” a systematic link “with foreign spy agencies.
“They must prepare for trials,” warned Ahmadinejad, who was head of state from 2005 to 2013, warned the group, without naming its members. But the former president left more than enough signs in his video message that the “ring” in question was part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Intelligence Organization. In recent months, the once-conservative politician favored by the ruling elite, who is now seen as a dissident, has not shied away from revealing his frictions with the intelligence agency as well as with the rest of the world. ruling establishment.
Ahmadinejad said the group was “committing treason by engaging in espionage” for enemies. It was not until April, after the key Iranian nuclear site of Natanz came under an attack blamed by Israel, Ahmadinejad told an enthusiastic crowd of supporters in the southern town of Bandar Abbas how “enemy agents have infiltrated” the intelligence apparatus. In his fiery speech, he noted that Iranian intelligence services have focused on its own ordinary citizens in suppressing their popular protests.
Taking the same line in his new speech, Ahmadinejad once again pointed out the same group for having suppressed the “legitimate demands” of the protests underway in the province of Khuzestan. Rallies in the Arab-majority region over a worsening water crisis have now entered their eighth consecutive day. Activists say at least five people have been killed as Media related to the IRGC blame Arab separatist groups for the killings; and accuse “foreign enemies” of exploiting the protests.
“As soon as people take to the streets to make their voices heard, they have to face the same corrupt intelligence network… which links them to strangers and treats them brutally,” Ahmadinejad said in a message of solidarity with the foreigners. demonstrators from Khuzestan.
Ahmadinejad’s two-term presidency was a time of stifling media freedoms and a deteriorating Iranian economy. His contested re-election in 2009 sparked weeks of angry steps at national scale. The response of the security forces and the IRGC, which openly supported him at the time, left dozens of protesters dead as thousands had to languish in inhumane conditions in facilities as notorious as Kahrizak.
While he had the unequivocal support of the IRGC and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during his first term, his second term led to more strained relations with the two. Tensions with Khamenei reaches boiling points. The Supreme Leader rejected Ahmadinejad’s choice for vice-presidency as well as his decision to dismiss an intelligence minister favorable to Khamenei.
In 2017, Ahmadinejad made a bold move by refusing Khamenei’s advice not to run for president. But his disobedience cost him his candidacy as he was disqualified by the Council of Guardians controlled by Khamenei. In 2021, he ran for president again, this time without even consulting Khamenei’s advice, and was unsurprisingly rejected by the same candidate selection body.
In his latest speech, Ahmadinejad also warned of the grave consequences of suppressing the will of the people and highlighted the “erosion of public confidence” in the establishment in what appeared to be a reference to the presidential election on June 18, which was marred by the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic. the story. Ahmadinejad – still a member of the Supreme Decision-Making Council – is the only sitting Iranian official who publicly boycotted the unilateral elections.