Iran's hard-liners push to prosecute Rouhani
The lawmakers' formal complaint was appended by a public petition that, among other allegations, accuses Rouhani of betraying Iranians through signing the nuclear deal with the world powers.
ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images
Al-Monitor Staff
TOPICS COVERED
Iran Deal
October 12, 2021
An influential committee in Iran's hard-line parliament submitted a concluded investigation and formal lawsuit to the judiciary demanding former President Hassan Rouhani be put on trial. The parliamentarians advancing the complaint argued their probe had established Rouhani's misconduct and failure to honor his presidential duties during his two consecutive terms (2013-2021).
Deputy parliament speaker Abdolreza Mesri, who presided over the Oct. 12 session, declared the lawmakers would respect any decision by the judiciary, "which is an independent entity." Iran's judiciary has traditionally been a conservative entity whose chief is directly appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The post is currently held by hard-line cleric Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei.
Enclosed with the lawmakers' formal complaint was an online petition signed by over half a million "university students, young clerics and people from different walks of life." The document urges the "revolutionary parliament" to pursue the matter until a "firm judicial verdict" is issued against the former president for "devaluing Iran's national currency," "destroying jobs," and "appointing spies and dual nationals" to sensitive positions. Iran's hard-liners have repeatedly claimed the "enemy's intelligence services" infiltrated the Rouhani government's negotiating team, who signed the "humiliating" 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers.
Listing 18 counts, the petition accuses Rouhani of "deception of the public about sanctions removal" as well as "destroying Iran's nuclear technology." It further levels "treason" allegations, punishable by the death penalty under Iran's strict judicial laws.
The signees have also implicated Rouhani in the "deaths of over 200 Iranians" in the November 2019 unrest triggered by fuel price hikes. According to the petition, the increased gasoline price was a Rouhani "sedition." Iran's supreme leader publicly threw his full weight behind the controversial plan and linked the unrest to "foreign enemies" as forces loyal to him carried out the Islamic Republic's deadliest crackdown ever on public protests. Rouhani's role in crushing the unrest has already been highlighted by his predecessor, hard-line Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who insists the moderate cleric stand trial for "paving the ground for shedding the blood of Iranians."
Rouhani bid farewell to his post on Aug. 2, handing it over to Ebrahim Raisi who won a landslide victory — albeit in a controversial election marked by the lowest turnout seen in Iran's recent history. Ever since, Rouhani has been unusually absent from public view, making his future political career anyone's guess.
It was not immediately clear if the parliamentarians' lawsuit was more symbolic in nature and how far the Khamenei-controlled judiciary will go after Rouhani. In post-revolution Iran, no former president has been seen in the dock. Yet under Khamenei's leadership, and regardless of their political leanings, they have shared the same destiny: Effectively marginalized, they have fallen from the supreme leader's grace one after another.
MORE FROM AL-MONITOR STAFF
Iran official says Tehran relied on prior agreements at Vienna talks
Al-Monitor Staff | Iran | Dec 6, 2021
Iran accuses Israel of poisoning nuclear talks
Al-Monitor Staff | Iran | Dec 2, 2021
Europe seeking to end latest round of Iran nuclear talks
Al-Monitor Staff | Iran | Dec 1, 2021
Subscribe to Our Newsletters
Sign Me Up!
POPULAR ARTICLES
Netflix series awakens ghosts of past for Turkey's Jews
Nazlan Ertan | Turkey | Nov 16, 2021
Egypt weighs impact of Ethiopia's civil war
Baher al-Kady | Egypt | Nov 20, 2021
Oman invests in ports with eye to becoming Gulf gateway
Sebastian Castelier | Gulf | Nov 19, 2021
AI played 'big role' in approach to pandemic, says UAE artificial intelligence minister
Week in Review | Gulf | Nov 19, 2021
Turkey's war of attrition against Syria's Kurds
Amberin Zaman | Syria | Nov 17, 2021
RECOMMENDED ARTICLES
Iran official says Tehran relied on prior agreements at Vienna talks
Al-Monitor Staff | Iran | Dec 6, 2021
How feasible is Raisi’s economic roadmap for Iran?
Bijan Khajehpour | Iran | Dec 4, 2021
Israel weighs options, timing of possible military strike on Iran
Week in Review | Israel | Dec 3, 2021
Iran's Quds Force chief warns US as hopes for nuclear accord fade
Al-Monitor Staff | Iran | Dec 3, 2021
RECENT PODCASTS
Raz Zimmt: Trump-Netanyahu’s Iran strategy pushed Tehran in the wrong direction 
Michael Kofman explains why Moscow backs the Iran nuclear deal and why Iran-Russia tensions in Syria are overstated
Digital entrepreneur Yonatan Adiri: Israel could double GDP with startup advancement
Don’t rule out eventual Erdogan-Assad reconciliation over shared fear of Kurds, says Amberin Zaman
Israeli environment minister: Country at high risk over climate change  
NEWSLETTERS
Subscribe
© 2021 Al-Monitor, LLC. All rights reserved.