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Iran Tries Politician for Lambasting Its Role in ME - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London – Iranian court is charging former Tehran mayor Gholamhossein Karbaschi for criticizing Iran’s military involvement in Syria and the country’s policy in the Middle East.

Government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht rejected rumors claiming the government made a final decision concerning Iran’s Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri’s future in the presidential elections.

Nobakht said President Rouhani hadn’t made his mind yet on whether he’d withdraw from the presidential race or not.

Head of Isfahan judiciary Ahmad Khosravi Wafa said that Karbaschi faces the charges of offending Iranian men killed in Syria, which Iran refers to as “martyrs of the shrine”.

Media reports said that Khosravi Wafa had summoned Karbaschi for investigation.

Last week, while addressing a presidential campaign for Rouhani in Isfahan, Karbaschi said that Iran didn’t need a war to reestablish stability in Syria adding that it is possible to end things there diplomatically.

Karbaschi is the Sec-Gen of Executives of Construction Party and was released from prison in 2000 following a pardon from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei after he had spent two out of the three years’ sentence for embezzlement.

Khosravi Wafa told Mizan that the accusation against Karbaschi was based on his offending statements against Iranian fighters in Syria. Karbaschi rejected the accusation and said it was based on 28 seconds taken out of context from his speech. He added that he became aware of the charges against him from the media, ILNA news reported him as saying.

Earlier, Kayhan newspaper criticized Rouhani’s campaign and Karbaschi in its Sunday editorial and accused him of trying to change the regime’s foreign policy.

During his weekly conference, spokesperson Nobakht said that Jahangiri has his motive to go into elections. Despite the fact that over a week has passed, Jahangiri hasn’t launched his presidential campaign yet and only appeared during the first televised debate.

Iranian Judiciary international aide Mohammed Javad Larijani considered Jahangiri’s candidacy an insult to Rouhani. He called for banning the shadow candidate from appearing in the televised debates.

Chief of Staff spokesperson Masoud Jazayeri asked the six candidates to avoid discussing military and defense issues that are not within the jurisdiction of the president of the republic. He stressed that national security must be taken into consideration during the campaigns and speeches of the candidates.

Two days ago, Khamenei said that the shadow of war was eliminated with the Iranian presence. Khamenei was hinting towards Rouhani who previously spoke of the effect of the nuclear agreement on averting shadow of war in Iran.

On Monday, Sadek Larijani condemned those who assumed that Iran avoided wars by signing the nuclear deal. He said it was a wrong assumption.

Campaign wise, conservative candidate Ebrahim Raisi delivered a speech in Hamdan, west of Iran, during which he criticized Rouhani and Khamenei. He spoke about the 11 million Iranian men who are unable to get married because of poverty and economic pressures. He also attacked the institutions and personnel on tax evasion.

Shadow of war became a code in Rouhani’s speeches in which he takes pride of the nuclear deal.

Reactions varied between the conservative camp and some officials concerning Jahangiri entering the race, especially after his first debate with conservative candidate, Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf.

Over the past few days, Ghalibaf addressed Jahangiri saying: “the people will test your credibility after few days.”

In a related matter, political activist Mohammed Reza Khatami, brother of former President Mohammed Khatami, told Itimad Online that the reformists decided to continue supporting Rouhani. Khatami expressed his belief that Iran would face worse times if Raisi or Ghalibaf won the elections.

Khatami described Rouhani’s government as a salvation from failure.