JNN 19 June 2013 Tehran : Iran’s outgoing president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been summoned to a criminal court in Tehran to answer unspecified charges in regard to a complaint lodged by Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani and others following the victory of the moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani in Friday’s presidential election.
On Monday, Branch 76 of the Criminal Court of Tehran Province issued the summons, stating that Ahmadinejad would face the unnamed charges in November.
Ahmadinejad is scheduled to hand over the presidency to Hassan Rohani in early August, when the latter is sworn in.
Local news agencies on Monday published a copy of the summons issued by judicial authorities demanding that Ahmadinejad appear before the court in November, a few months after he has handed over the Iranian presidency to Rouhani. It revealed little except that a lawsuit had been lodged by the parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani.
Nearly 50.5 million Iranians, including more than 1.6 million first-time voters, were eligible to participate in the presidential election. The Interior Ministry put voter turnout at 72.7 percent.
Rohani won 18,613,329 votes or 50.7 percent to secure an outright victory. In the Iranian system, if no presidential candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, the two top candidates must face off in a run-off election.
Rohani currently represents Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in the Supreme National Security Council and is a member of the Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts. He is also director of the Expediency Council’s Center for Strategic Research.
MP Mohammad Ali Pour-Mokhtar, the chairman of the Majlis Article 90 Committee, and Yaghoub Khalilnejad have joined Larijani in the legal action against the outgoing Iranian president.
Iran’s official news agency IRNA says there have been several other subpoenas issued previously to Ahmadinejad.
In February, Ahmadinejad and Larijani engaged in a public spat at the highest levels of the Islamic republic when the president played a secretly filmed tape in a public session that implied the speaker’s brother was financially corrupt.
Ahmadinejad engaged in a dispute with Larijani during the impeachment session for Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare Minister Abdolreza Sheikholeslami in early February.
In his speech in defense of Sheikholeslami, the Iranian president leveled certain allegations against Larijani’s brother Fazel, who is the president of the Science and Research Branch of Islamic Azad University in the northern city of Amol.
In a dramatic sequence of events that marked the climax of the power struggle between Ahmadinejad and his conservative rivals in parliament, Ahmadinejad’s tape showed Larijani’s brother, Fazel, allegedly trading on his sibling’s influence for financial gain in a conversation with Saeed Mortazavi, the caretaker of Iran’s social welfare organisation.
“These are audio and video, and the tape is clear,” said Ahmadinejad at the time. “If the honourable parliament speaker sees fit, we can turn over the 24 to 25 hours of recordings to you.” A few minutes of a barely audible tape were played as millions of Iranians listened to the extraordinary parliamentary session live on national radio.
“It was a good thing that you showed this to let people learn about your character,” Ali Larijani retorted at the time.
Larijani’s brother, Fazel, denied the accusations and threatened to sue him but the incident was enough to tarnish the speaker’s image. When Ali Larijani delivered a speech in the holy city of Qom shortly after the incident, he was met with angry crowds who threw shoes at him and shouted slogans.
The Majlis speaker strongly criticized Ahmadinejad for raising an issue irrelevant to the impeachment.
Last month, Ahmadinejad accompanied his close confidant and former chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, to the interior ministry as the latter registered his name as a candidate in the election. However, Iran’s constitutional body, the Guardian Council, disqualified him without giving a reason. Conservatives close to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have accused Mashaei of undermining clerical power by advocating nationalism and putting Iran ahead of Islam. Ahmadinejad, however, has stood by him