Hamid Baghaee Former Iranian Vice President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
[Hamid Baghaee, Iranian politician and former intelligence officer who is considered one of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s closest confidants, is slamming the head of Iranian judiciary, Sadegh Larijani. Baghaee is facing trial for financial charges.]
Hamid Baghaee: I became a candidate for the presidency, and I am still paying for that. It was my right. I was released on bail on January 18 and with the agreement of the supreme leader [Ali Khamenei]. What happened that after a year and a half, the judiciary branch wished to arrest me with 50 billion tomans bail? I registered [to run for presidency] and subjected myself to people’s votes. And then you saw what happened. Perhaps, if we had endorsed a certain candidate, nothing would have happened.
I didn’t want to support any candidate and wanted to introduce myself to people.
Baghaee, I have another question. As you know, the leader has recently talked about justice, saying that justice has been neglected in our country. I wanted to know that given the leader’s remarks regarding justice and the fact that your court, in contradiction with the constitution, has been held behind closed doors and the public opinion has not been informed of evidence against you, how probable is it that the judge would decide independently and based on the documents and evidence?
Hamid Baghaee: I think just like you. How probable do you think it is?
–I do hope that the judge would act independently and would ignore the created atmosphere.
Hamid Baghaee: The important point is that the supreme leader made significant remarks a few days ago, saying people are unhappy with the judiciary branch. He even talked about justice as a general issue. Then we saw that on Monday, Sadegh Larijani started to threat again, instead of finding himself the addressee of leader’s remarks. What does that mean? Or we saw that on the night of the anniversary of the martyrdom of Zahra [Prophet Mohammad’s daughter], there were those issues on Pasdaran Avenue [clashes between dervishes and police]. Isn’t it because there are hands at work that want unrests in the country?
With these remarks, the leader was after creating a peaceful atmosphere so that a reform would start. He apologized for the issue of justice. And by justice he didn’t mean just economic justice; it was for judiciary and everything. And then he said people are unhappy with all branches: parliament, government, and judiciary. Then on Monday, Larijani made threats, instead of saying, “following the leader’s remarks, we will make reformations”. What does that mean? Aren’t you responsible? And then he says, “I am the establishment”. Who says you are the establishment? The judiciary branch is not the pillar of the establishment. The pillars of the establishment are: republic, leader, Islam. Judiciary branch is just a formation. And in future its formation might change in the constitution. Previously, it was supreme judiciary council, then it became the judiciary branch, and tomorrow it might become another formation. We cannot say the judiciary branch is equal to the establishment, and its head is equal to the establishment. It isn’t like that at all. Larijani is wrong.