Iran‘s leading reformists today faced the most serious accusation yet in connection with post-election violence when the commander of the powerful Revolutionary Guards said they had tried to undermine the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
General Mohammad Ali Jafari said former president Mohammad Khatami and others encouraged the mass street protests after June’s disputed election and challenged Khamenei, raising the possibility that they could face prosecution.
“The goal of post-election riots was to bring a change in the behaviour of the Islamic Republic, a change in directions, a deviation from principles,” Jafari was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic news agency.
The regime has already put more than 100 activists and pro-reform politicians on trial, featuring forced confessions, in a move condemned by human rights groups. Among those in the dock are Khatami’s former vice-president, Mohammad Abtahi. So far the government has not gone after the most senior reformists, including Khatami and Mir Hossein Mousavi, who claims he would have won the vote if it had not been stolen by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.