Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been denied a visit with his jailed press aide, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, by the Iranian judiciary.
IRNA reports that Ahmadinejad has written a letter of complaint to Ayatollah Larijani, the head of the judiciary, saying his agreed-upon appointment to visit Evin Prison on Monday has been postponed. He urged Ayatollah Larijani to direct judiciary officials to reschedule this appointment as soon as possible.
At a press conference today, Sunday, the spokesman for the judiciary announced, however, that such a visit would not be “appropriate.”
Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei told reporters that since one of the president’s “appointees” is now jailed in Evin Prison, such a visit would be “politically questionable” and therefore not “appropriate” under the circumstances.
Mohseni Ejei went on to say that in the seven and half years of his presidency, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has never visited Evin Prison, and such a visit is not in the interests of the country.
Ali Akbar Javanafekr, Ahmadinejad’s top press adviser and the head of the state news agency IRNA, was arrested while Ahmadinejad was visiting New York to participate in the UN General Assembly meeting in September.
Javanfekr has been sentenced to six months in jail over a special publication about the place of women in Islam, which has been found to be offensive by the judiciary.
Mohseni Ejei told reporters today that the president is now facing graver responsibilities such as dealing with the “economic issues”, “people’s subsistence”, “rising prices, the market and control of the national currency.” He stressed that visiting Evin Prison must be a minor concern in such a situation.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been criticized for publicizing his letter to the head of judiciary demanding a visit to Evin Prison. Mohseni Ejei said, however, that Ayatollah Larijani has responded to the president’s letter but did not give any details about the content of the letter.