Ali Akbar Javanfekr

Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dowlatabadi has accused the president’s press aide, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, of printing “lies” about the prosecutor’s office.

According to Press TV, the Tehran Prosecutor accused Javanfekr of publishing lies about judicial and political figures in an attempt to “disturb public perception.”

In the Sunday edition of the state newspaper Iran, Javanfekr was quoted accusing officials from the prosecutor’s office and security offices of using pepper spray, stun guns, tear gas and batons against the Iran daily staff.

He alleges that during their attack on the Iran newspaper’s offices, the prosecutor’s agents and Tehran security police “threw tear gas bombs into the editorial office of Iran newspaper, pepper-sprayed several people including women and even a paraplegic employee, beat a number of reporters, editors and photojournalists with batons, used Tasers on some individuals and went on to insult and shout obscenities at employees.”

Javanfekr added that when he demanded to see his arrest warrant, he was told: “We are the arrest warrant and we witnessed the crime being committed during the press conference.”

At the time of the alleged attack, Javanfekr was holding a press conference to criticize the judiciary’s latest sentence against him for “publishing material against Islamic principles and public morality.”

The Tehran Prosecutor claims that Javanfekr had been warned prior to the press conference not to speak out against public figures.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s press aide had been giving interviews criticizing the conservative elite and its resistance to the Ahmadinejad administration and his allies.

While 40 people were reportedly arrested in the incident at Iran daily offices, Javanfekr was released only after the direct intervention of the president.

In the Iran daily article, Javanfekr reminded the officials who were trying to arrest him that, without an arrest warrant, their actions were illegal, and “senior officials of the country are reviewing the matter and they should await the result.” He added that the officials told him “they did not have anything to do with the president or the head of the judiciary and that their orders came from somewhere else.”

Javanfekr also claims that the newspaper staff was threatened with handguns, and all the cameras in the building were broken to stop any recording of the incident.

A suit has been filed against the attackers by 193 staff and reporters of the Iran daily, who are calling on the head of the judiciary to prosecute the perpetrators.

The attack on Javanfekr and the Iran daily reveals the growing internal rift in the Islamic Republic between the conservative elite, who are faithful to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, and the allies and followers of Ahmadinejad and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai.