With the next Iranian presidential election slated for June of 2013, Mostafa Tajzadeh, a jailed political activist and prominent reformist, has warned of another “election coup” being in the works.
In a letter published on the Norooz website on Friday January 4, Tajzadeh, who has been in jail since the last election in 2009, writes that the recent statements by military and other Islamic Republic officials and their renewed attacks against the challengers of the 2009 election are paving the way for “another election coup.”
The 2009 presidential election was challenged by the reformist candidates with allegations of vote fraud. The controversy led to mass protests. with protesters demanding that their votes be verified.
The result was a severe government crackdown on protesters and reformists in the political arena. Tajzadeh and many other reformist figures were arrested, accused of sedition and given harsh prison terms.
MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, the two candidates that challenged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory and refused to recognize his government, were finally put under house arrest in February of 2011 and have been cut off from the public ever since.
With the approach of the presidential election, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the head of the Guardian Council, the hardline cleric Ayatollah Jannati, have once again condemned the 2009 protests and linked them to Western conspiracies.
Tajzadeh writes: “Mesbah, Jannati, and the head of IRGC have once again become active…this means another election coup is on the way.”
Tajzadeh insists that the 2009 election turned into a military coup and, therefore, he calls for the prosecution of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Tajzadeh goes on to criticize Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, saying he has turned himself into an “absolute monarch” and is responsible for all the current problems in the country.
He writes: “If our country in comparison with the countries in the region and the world is in excellent condition, then we should thank the leader! If the situation is bad, the leader has to face the chief criticism because he is in direct charge of 70 percent of the affairs in the country, and the other 30 percent he influences indirectly.”
Tajzadeh was deputy interior minister in the reformist government of President Mohammad Khatami and an executive member of two top reformist parties, the Islamic Iran Participation Front and Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Party, both of which have been outlawed since the 2009 election protests.