A reformist parliamentarian representing Tehran was almost arrested by Iranian judicial authorities this week (The Guardian). Mahmoud Sadeghi questioned Iran’s justice minister over its chief, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, for possessing 63 personal bank accounts filled with public funds that may have accumulated over $64 million annually. The judiciary denied the allegations and decided to arrest MP Sadeghi, even though he has the privilege of legislative immunity. Judicial authorities reversed their decision after they were thwarted from detaining Sadeghi when activists, students, and fellow parliamentarians assembled in front of his home as a sign of support.
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani is from a prominent political family. Both of his brothers also hold senior positions in the Iranian government. Ali Larijani is speaker of the Majlis (parliament) and Mohammad Javad Larijani is the head of the Human Rights Council.
MP Sadeghi has since appeared at the Culture and Media Court to respond to questions about several complaints made against him since criticizing Larijani (ICHRI).
Meanwhile, the son of the late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri was sentenced to six years in prison for an array of national security related charges including "anti-regime propaganda" and "releasing a classified audio file" (RFERL). Earlier this year, Ahmad Montazeri published an audio file of his father criticizing the 1988 massacre that took place in prisons throughout Iran. Ayatollah Montazeri, once the deputy supreme leader of Iran, was the designated successor to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini until he fell out of favor for opposing the massacre, months before the leader of the revolution died in 1989.
On the 40-minute tape, Montazeri says, “The biggest crime in the history of the Islamic Republic, which will be condemned by history, happened by your hands.” He goes on to denounce Iranian officials involved in carrying out the orders and showed remorse for the families of the victims. The audio file confirms everything written in Montazeri’s autobiography, but also reveals just how critical he was of those individuals. Although Montazeri passed away in 2009, his son Ahmad decided to release the tape because some officials had been tarnishing his father’s image.