Iranian MP accuses Revolutionary Guards of interfering in election


Iranian veteran conservative MP Ali Motahari accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) of interfering in the results of the latest parliamentary elections amid retaliation threats by IRGC senior officials.

IRGC General Ramadan Sharif, was quoted in a statement posted on the IRGC-affiliated Fars News Agency as saying the military body is, and will always be, committed to the teachings of the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khomeini and will therefore never interfere in legislative elections.

The IRGC, the statement added, did not influence in any way the results of the March 2 elections, which witnessed a major victory for the supporters of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, some of whom are IRGC members.

IRGC members were infuriated by the accusations Motahari, one of Iran’s most daring and independent MPs, hurled at them in the parliament session held Sunday and threatened to take the MP to court if he does not withdraw his “allegations.”

Motahari, who called for the questioning and possible impeachment of the president, also accused Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his brother-in-law and chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei of spreading vice among the youth and creating the suitable environment for indecent behavior.

“I suggest that you open nightclubs to satisfy the sexual desires of the youth,” he once said, addressing Ahmadinejad.

Al Arabiya News Channel and ran on March 3 reports stressing that the ninth parliamentary elections since the 1979 revolution have witnessed a wide range of violations such as rigging and vote buying in the capital Tehran and other Iranian cities.

Those violations, reports explained, were committed by various political powers but especially by the IRGC and the IRGC-affiliated volunteer militia the Basij.

According to an Al Arabiya report, IRGC and Basij members toured the streets on their bikes, paid money to pedestrians, and told them to vote for the IRGC list.

Large numbers of villagers were also transferred to big cities to give the impression that the turnout was high in the elections described by several opposition figures inside and outside Iran as a “farce.”

Several of those involved in paying money were arrested in several cities only to be released later after IRGC interfered.

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)