October 15, 2010
In a letter to the head of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, the former Secretary-General of the Islamic Iran Participation Front Mohammad Reza Khatami has criticised the stance of the resistance group with regards to Ahmadinejad as well as the crackdowns carried out by Iranian authorities after the fraudulent 2009 Presidential election.
The publication of the letter comes as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is on two-day visit to Lebanon. Many in Iran’s opposition camp see the visit as an attempt to divert attention from his administration’s domestic problems and his growing unpopularity among Iranians as well as his own ultra-conservative allies.
“You and all knowledgeable people are aware of [Ahmadinejad's] standing in the eyes of the people of Iran,” says the letter which was first published on IIPF’s official website Norooz. “These days, you and [the rest of ] Lebanon are the hosts of Mr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This warm welcome is a sign of the two countries’ profound ties and surely, based on the policy of non-interference in the internal affairs and the national interests of Lebanon as well as the important interests of the resistance, his reception, as the representative of the Islamic Republic, is comprehensible for us as Iranians.”
“I am addressing you, a person for whom the future of the Islamic Republic is as important as the future of the [Islamic] resistance [in Lebanon] and I see it necessary to remind [you] of a bitter reality that we are faced with in Iran today. A reality whose consequences will have to be borne by all supporters of Imam [Khomeini] and the [Islamic] Revolution, regardless of their nationality.”
The former deputy speaker of the Iranian parliament and grandson-in-law of the late Imam Khomeini stated that “hundreds” of the “true” followers of the late Ayatollah and the Islamic Revolution are under the “most severe kind of pressure and the most limitations” in the “worst conditions in prison.”
“The latest among these [followers] who was arrested just ahead of Mr Ahmadinejad’s visit [to Lebanon] and his meeting with you, is Dr Shakouri Rad, someone you are well familiar with, as one of the most important defenders of the Islamic Resistance [in Lebanon],” continued Khatami.
Shakouri Rad, a member of the IIPF and a former Member of Parliament, was arrested on 12 October due to the publication of an article on his personal blog about Gholamhossein Mohseni Eje’i, Iran’s current Prosecutor General and the Judiciary’s Spokesperson. Eje’i was Minister of Intelligence during the disputed 2009 presidential election and oversaw the mass-arrest of political activists following the monumental fraud that occurred in the June election. Shakouri Rad’s article titled “Judicial scandal, contradictions and new lies,” called on Mohseni Eje’i to leave the Judiciary citing the Prosecutor’s remarks regarding the dissolution of two reformist political parties, the Islamic Iran Participation Front and the Islamic Revolution Mujahidin Organisation.
Khatami, who is currently a member of the central council of the IIPF reminded Seyed Hassan Nassrallah, that “in our opinion, one cannot speak of resistance against the occupying regime [of Israel] and [at the same time] arrest such committed individuals … One cannot claim resistance against the Zionist Regime and at the same time refuse to denounce the injustice against these true fighters, or even worse, to approve of these actions with a satisfying silence.”
In the end, Khatami said that the Iranian nation expected “all those who claim to be resisting tyranny” to urge the Iranian authorities to “cease their oppression and transgression” and to treat Iranian people in a manner which is reflective of what they wish upon the people of Lebanon and its fighters.
Following the 2009 presidential election in Iran, many of the IIPF’s most prominent members were arrested and paraded in televised mass show-trials after which many received long jail-terms and heavy suspensions. The party’s Secretary General Mohsen Mirdamadi is among the many names currently in the prisons of the Islamic Republic serving his unjust prison sentence.