Conservative Iranian MP Ali Motahari has spoken out against recent statements by the head of the Guardian Council, who said that people who took part in the 2009 election protests will not be eligible to run in the upcoming presidential election.
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, said: “Seditious elements should not even dream of returning to the election scene.”
Iranian media reported on Saturday that Motahari issued an open letter to Ahmad Jannati, noting that opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, referred to by the establishment as the “leaders of sedition”, have never been tried in court or given a chance to defend themselves; therefore, there is no legal basis to disqualify them from running in the 2013 election.
Mousavi and Karroubi have been under house arrest since 2011 for rallying street protests and refusing to accept the legitimacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the 2009 election.
The coming presidential election has refreshed debates over the possibility of reformists running for election ever again.
The reformists were pushed out of the political scene following the 2009 election and have been accused of trying to topple the Islamic Republic regime.
In recent months, some conservative factions of the Islamic Republic have expressed willingness to have the reformists return to the political scene, but the more hardline elements, such as Ayatollah Jannati, remain very hostile towards them.