Iran’s ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrested for inciting unrest

Tehran [Iran]: The Iran government reportedly arrested its former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in south-central Iran’s Shiraz for inciting the December 28 anti-government protests that have engulfed different parts of the country.

The arrest came after the former president made provocative statements related to the protests last week in Bushehr.

The local authorities are likely to detain Ahmadinejad under house arrest with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s approval, the Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper added, citing ‘reliable sources in Tehran’.

In a rally in Bushehr in late December, Ahmadinejad had said: “Iran is suffering from mismanagement and the Rouhani government (Hassan Rouhani) believes that they own the land and that the people are an ignorant society”.

“Some of the current leaders live detached from the problems and concerns of the people, and do not know anything about the reality of the society”, the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Iran’s fifth head of the judicial system, Amole Larijani, had also accused Ahmadinejad of inciting protests.

The former Iranian president spoke about Larijani in a videotaped statement, sarcastically saying: “I have no children spying for the West, I have no brothers who are actively smuggling goods, and I do not steal land to raise my cattle”.

Along with Ahmadinejad, a prominent Shiite cleric and politician Mehdi Karroubi and former Iranian prime minister Mir-Hossein Mousavi were also detained and put under house arrest.

Iran is still witnessing a wave of demonstrations, being held in many cities across the country as people took to raising anti-government slogans, over alleged corruption and rising prices that plagued the people of the country earlier this week.

Khamenei on Tuesday, blamed the country’s ‘enemies’ to instigate the ongoing anti-government protests. Also, Rouhani said in last week that the people of Iran were free to protest peacefully, but rejected protesting by violence.

The country has deployed Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces and Afghan mercenaries in order to stem the anti-government protests. The authorities have blocked two popular social media apps- Telegram and Instagram, as a security measure.

Also, three protesters were reportedly shot dead by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in central Iran last week. More casualties are feared as well.

The official death toll in the anti-government protests is, as of now, 20. Thousands of protesters have been arrested in the last few days. (ANI)