Senior Cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati says those who protested against the 2009 presidential election result in Iran should not be allowed to participate in the 2013 election.
Iranians will go to the polls in June 2013 to choose a new president. The reformists were heavily suppressed following the 2009 election, and the two reformist candidates that challenged the results of the ballot count have been under house arrest since February 2011. However, some reformists are once again considering running in the presidential election, and their potential presence in the race has been welcomed by some conservative figures.
Hardliner Ayatollah Jannati, the head of the Guardian Council, which monitors the elections, said today that those who challenged the 2009 elections “betrayed the Islamic system and the people and severely harmed the country. They should not even dream of returning to the election.”
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the 2009 presidential election was marred by widespread allegations of fraud and led to great mass protests, which the government put down through severe violence. Scores were killed and hundreds were arrested. Many journalists and activists have been arrested and sentenced to long prison terms in the aftermath of the protests.
The opposition leaders, accused of trying to topple the regime, were dubbed leaders of sedition.
“They have shown that they have no commitment to the constitution or Islamic laws and ethics,” Ayatollah Jannati said of the 2009 election challengers.
“Today it has been established that the seditious were connected with foreign elements and the enemies of the Revolution,” Jannati claimed. “These things are evident in the trial records and the confessions.”
Many detainees have accused the authorities of coercing them into making confessions through pressure and torture.
Jannati stressed that even those who have not openly condemned the opposition leaders and their actions in the aftermath of the 2009 election should not be eligible to run in the coming elections.
The reformist former president Mohammad Khatami recently called on the Islamic Republic establishment to release all political prisoners and allow for a more open political atmosphere as a step toward resolving the political and economic crises facing the country.