In a statement on his official web page, Ahmadinejad said that that “oppressing people and clamping down on protesters and critics will result in chaos”.
He was very critical of Iran’s justice system for its recent abuses of protesters and warned against further restrictions and a heavy-handed clampdown to silence critics.
Ahmadinejad said: “Iranians are being arrested for simply demonstrating or criticizing officials and the way the country is run.”
This will no doubt surprise anyone who remembers Ahmadinejad’s presidency given that speakers at the 2006 student protests reported a crackdown on dissent at universities following Ahmadinejad’s election and especially given the reaction to the 2009 Green Movement protest, in which at least 500 people were arrested and threatened with execution for protesting against a rigged election.
Ahmadinejad also demanded the release of his former aide, Hamid Baqai, who was jailed for corruption and embezzling funds worth over $5 million. Some of this money was taken from the suppressive Iranian Al-Quds Brigade, which helps to spread the Iranian Regime’s brutal ideology abroad.
Ahmadinejad insists Baqai is innocent. He has accused Al-Quds Brigade chief Qassem Suleimani of misusing the funds and called for him to be put on trial.
The former president and his supporters also organised a week-long sit-in to protest the imprisonment of Baqaii and Isfandiar Rahimi. Ahmadinejad’s followers criticised the judiciary during the protest, calling for the head of the judiciary Sadeq Larijani and his brother, the speaker of the house of parliament Ali Larijani, to be dismissed. They said that the brothers had abused their power and used their positions to promote corruption and violence.
Ahmadinejad has also spoken out against supreme leader Ali Khamenei recently, accusing him of stealing more than $190 billion of the “Iranian people’s fortune.”
To be clear, the Iranian Regime has a long history of corruption and embezzlement no matter who is in charge. The mullahs have continually stolen from the Iranian people since 1979 and will continue to do so as long as they remain in power.
Ahmadinejad’s attacks on the Regime are not evidence that he has grown a conscience, but more a reaction to the fact that he was under investigation and was barred from running in the 2017 elections.
The Iranian Regime is plagued with infighting from all sides, but it is about power not policy. All members want their faction to be in the best place to succeed when Khamenei dies.
It is a sign that the Iranian Regime is weak and that their overthrow will be soon.