Abolfazl Ghadyani, political activist and former supporter of Khamenei who is openly calling for the Supreme Leader to step down. (Supplied)

March 11, 2019

A former ally and now a vocal opponent of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has been sentenced to three years in jail and ordered to read and copy three books.

Abolfazl Qadyani (Ghadyani) who was a staunch revolutionary in the 1970’s and 80’s has become a critic of Khamenei calling him to step down and rejecting the concept of a supreme leader.

His son Morteza Qadyani tweeted that his father has received two years for “insulting the leader” and one year for “propaganda against the regime”. He might end up serving the longer of the two sentences.

Qadyani has also been ordered to read three pro-revolution and Islamic Republic books, one praising Khamenei, and copying them by hand. This is considered a punishment in Iranian elementary schools for pupils who disrupt the classroom.

The former revolutionary turned opponent has been criticizing Khamenei since 2009, when highly questionable poll results believed to be engineered by military and intelligence organs declared hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as winner in presidential elections.

Qadyani was jailed for one year following the disputed elections, but in 2018 as political suppression and economic crisis got worse, he repeatedly lambasted Khamenei, insisting that his “concentrated power” and “leadership for life” are the main sources of widespread corruption in the country. He has also called the concept of the Supreme Leader “un-Islamic”.

RFE/RL

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.