ROME — Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini would have annulled the results of Iran’s presidential elections in June, defeated reformist candidate Mehdi Karroubi told an Italian newspaper.
In an interview with La Stampa, published on Saturday, Karroubi said the leader of the Islamic revolution in 1979 would have recoiled at the bloodshed that followed the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president.
“If the Imam Khomeini was alive, he would have annulled these elections (and) condemned the violence and murders,” he said.
“What happened immediately after the elections, the arrests of thousands of members of the opposition, the murder of dozens of people and the acts of violence … constituted a veritable coup d’etat,” he added.
Both Karroubi and Ahmadinejad’s main rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi, have alleged that the president’s re-election with 63 percent of the vote was the product of electoral fraud.
Karroubi, 72, a two-time speaker of the Iranian parliament, studied theology in the Shiite holy city of Qoms alongside Khomeini, who died in 1989, a decade after the revolution that overthrew Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s regime.
He has angered hardliners by alleging that several young men and women were raped in custody in the aftermath of the election and that some detainees were tortured to death.