Ahmadinejad Aide Says He Was Imprisoned for Refusing to Collaborate With Revolutionary Guards
An imprisoned media advisor to former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of offering him freedom in exchange for incriminating Ahmadinejad.
In an online proclamation of his innocence, Alireza Davari requested that the judiciary make his case open to the public and accused the IRGC of retaliation for refusing to collaborate.
“If the Tehran prosecutor is sincere and brave, he must enlighten the public about the charges against me by publishing the indictment as well as Judge (Abolqasem) Salavati’s verdict,” said Alireza Davari in a statement posted by his family on his Telegram channel on June 2, 2017.
In the June 2 Telegram post, Davari insisted that the comments he allegedly made about Khamenei, for which he was imprisoned, were posted by unknown individuals who had hacked into his Facebook account.
Davari also said a security organization offered him freedom in exchange for turning on Ahmadinejad. Davari did not mention the agency by name, but the IRGC’s Intelligence Organization is the plaintiff in his case.
“I received a phone call on May 22 (2017) from someone who introduced himself as a representative of a security agency and assured me, ‘Mr. Davari, the only way you can get out of your predicament is to step forward and cooperate with us against Dr. Ahmadinejad. Only in that case would we suspend the verdict against you,” said Davari in the Telegram post.
In August 2015, Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Davari to six years in prison for “insulting the supreme leader” after he allegedly posted comments against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on his Facebook page. The sentence was reduced to two years in prison upon appeal.
Davari began serving his prison term on May 31, 2017.
Ahmadinejad, who was president for two terms from 2005 to 2013, attempted to run for a third term on May 19, 2017, but was disqualified by the Guardian Council, which vets all candidates.
Subsequently, Iranian media were banned from reporting on Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad, who fell out of favor with the Islamic Republic’s conservative ruling establishment during his second term, sought the presidency in May 2017 against Khamenei’s advice.
“Someone came to see me and considering his own interests and the interests of the country, I told him he should not participate in that matter [the election],” said Khamenei in September 2016, referring to Ahmadinejad.
“I didn’t tell him not to participate, I told him I wouldn’t recommend him participating,” he added.
Khamenei, who maintains close relations with Iran’s security and intelligence establishments, is the most powerful political force in the country as the supreme leader. Refusing his advice or declarations is regarded by hardliners as a slight to the Islamic Republic.
In a post on her husband’s Telegram page on June 4, Davari’s wife, Elham Salmani, claimed three agencies had conceded that the accusations against Davari were inconclusive.
“Before the comments were posted, my husband had informed the media that his Facebook page had been hacked,” she wrote. “In other words, Mr. Davari at the time was not in control of the page in question and could not have posted the comments.”
“Secondly, in the expert opinion of the FATA cyber police, the IRGC’s cyber agency and the judiciary’s digital data center, which have been in possession of all of my husband’s computer devices for the past three years, it is impossible to prove the accusations against him,” she added.