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VIDEO: Hardliners attack Ahmadinejad loyalists at sit-in protest in Iran

Published: Updated:

“Revenge for Allah” militias, an extremist hardline group in Iran, attacked officials belonging to the administration of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is currently taking refuge at a religious shrine in Tehran.

The group reportedly carried out the attack on Saturday as a way to protest against the charges of corruption against them.

Ahmadinejad’s unofficial website, Dolat-e Bahar, published pictures and videos of the attack and reported that members of the extremist groups were loyal to the head of the Iranian judiciary, Sadiq Amouli Larijani. They also beat supporters of Iranian former vice president, Hamid Baghaei, former media adviser Ali Junafkar, and former senior government official Habibullah Kharasani, all who have been carrying out a religious sit-in since Wednesday at Shah-Abdol-Azim shrine.

Ahmadinejad delivered a speech on Wednesday for his supporters who gathered to support the former president’s assistants before the sit-in, during which he attacked the head of the judiciary Ayatollah Sadeghi Amoli Larijani and his brothers, accusing them of “stealing public money and corruption”.

Holding sit-in protests inside religious shrines dates back to the Qajari era (1779-1925), when critics fleeing from the Qajari government resorted to it as they were afraid of being chased by security.

The sit-in of Ahmadinejad’s government officials in this way is the first of its kind and the most severe types of protests that can be carried out by figures that belong to the Jurist ruling regime.

Ahmadinejad had visited his assistants on Saturday, amid cheers from his supporters demanding the Iranian leader to isolate Larijani and his brother from the presidency of the judiciary and parliament.

Conflict increased between Ahmadinejad’s party and Larijani’s two brothers, who dominate the judiciary as well as a broad sector of the economy, since he challenged the supreme leader Ali Khamenei, when he announced his candidacy for the presidential elections in May, after the leader recommended not to run on the pretext of preventing “polarization” state in Iran, which made the Guardian Council under the rule of Khamenei, to reject the nomination of the former president and his VP Baghaei on the pretext of their “incapacity to run in the presidential election.”

Ahmadinejad has launched an attack against Khamenei, accusing him of condoning the people, likening him to the former Shah, who was overthrown by the revolution in 1979.