Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week that that Islamic Republic’s ruling system has lost its legitimacy and demanded “fundamental reforms,” saying its leaders should be replaced through free and fair presidential elections.
“In the current situation, keeping the heads of the three powers of the regime (executive, judiciary, and legislative branches) in their positions is facing big challenges that need to be tackled,” Ahmadinejad reportedly wrote in a text published on “Dolat-e-Bahar” (The Government of Spring), which Radio Farda describes as a website that supports Ahmadinejad. “Is there any better way to tackle the current challenges than referring to the popular vote and holding new elections? Or perhaps they believe that they should remain in power at any cost and the people and the country should endure them until their terms are over?”
Ahmadinejad reportedly also called on Khamenei to dismiss the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, who was sanctioned by the United States Treasury Department in January.
Ahmadinejad’s re-election to the mantle of the presidency in 2009 led to widespread protests in Tehran and ushered in what is known as Iran’s “Green Revolution.”
Radio Farda also noted that outspoken parliament speaker and Tehran MP Ali Motahari said, “Calling for free parliamentary and presidential election without the Guardian Council and military interference means that recent elections, particularly the 2005 and 2009 presidential elections (Ahmadinejad’s two terms), were rigged and engineered.”
Motahari reportedly also challenged Ahmadinejad by asking him why he kept silent while he was in power while the protests that swept the nation’s capital took place. Ahmadinejad served as Iran’s president from 2005-2013.
The ongoing protests throughout multiple cities in Iran, which started on December 28, are the largest since the 2009 uprising, which was carried out mostly by reformists; those who wish to see the regime remain in power with moderate changes over time. Those protesting in the streets of Iran today do not agree with the reformists and would like to see the regime overthrown and replaced through free and open elections.