Iran’s political oppression will end in chaos, warns Ahmadinejad

File photo of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (REUTERS)
Updated 01 April 2018

Iran’s political oppression will end in chaos, warns Ahmadinejad

LONDON: Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has warned the Iranian regime that “oppressing people and clamping down on protesters and critics will result in chaos.”

In two statement on his followers’ web page, Ahmadinejad demanded the release of his former aide, who was jailed for corruption and embezzlement worth more than $5 million.

Baqai is alleged to have diverted funds dedicated to spreading the Al-Quds Brigade’s influence in African countries.

Ahmadinejad insists Baqai is innocent and has called for the trial of Al-Quds Brigade chief Qassem Suleimani for misuse of the funds.

The former president also criticized Iran’s justice system, saying: “Iranians are being arrested for simply demonstrating or criticizing officials and the way the country is run.”

More restrictions and a heavy-handed clampdown to silence critics will bring chaos,” he said.

The former president and his supporters had organized a week-long sit-in to protest the continued imprisonment of Baqaii and Isfandiar Rahimi. Ahmadinejad’s followers chanted slogans calling for the dismissal of the judicial head Sadeq Larijani and his brother Ali Larijani, speaker of house of parliament, for abuse of power and using their positions to promote corruption and violence.

In recent months, Ahmadinejad has turned against Ali Khamenei, accusing the supreme leader of stealing more than $190 billion of the “Iranian people’s fortune.”


Jordan criticizes Israel over Al-Aqsa Mosque changes

Updated 37 min 39 sec ago

Jordan criticizes Israel over Al-Aqsa Mosque changes

  • Palestinians welcomed the Jordanian position but expressed concerns over a decline of support for Amman’s custodianship of the holy places at Al-Aqsa

AMMAN: Jordan has stepped up its diplomatic pressure on Israel, demanding that they do not change the status quo at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Zaid Lozi, director-general of Jordan’s Foreign Ministry, summoned Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Amir Weissbrod to protest Israel’s actions in Jerusalem.

According to Petra News, Lozi told the envoy that recent remarks by Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Ardan over changing the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque are unacceptable. Lozi added that the mosque is a place of worship for Muslims only.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi addressed a group of EU ambassadors in Amman and “stressed the urgency of effective international steps against Israel’s violations of Holy Sites in occupied Jerusalem.”

Safadi told Arab News that the situation in Jerusalem is challenging and must be addressed. He said that he will present a detailed report on Jordan’s position to Parliament on Monday.

The ministry denounced the Israeli authorities’ closure of the mosque’s gates and demanded that Israel respects its obligations in accordance with international humanitarian law.

HIGHLIGHT

• Muslims insist that all 144,000 square meters of the UNESCO World Heritage Site are a single unit that has belonged to them for 11 centuries.

Hatem Abdel Qader, a member of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, told Arab News that Israeli authorities had been attempting to enforce major changes at the mosque.

“Security forces barged into the mosque yesterday. They went to the Bab Al-Rahmeh Mosque where they confiscated carpets and the closet where shoes are kept.”

Jordan’s diplomatic statements follow comments by Ardan, who said that Israel is disappointed with the current state of affairs at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

According to Israeli officials, the mosque area is sovereign Israeli territory, despite it being administered by Jordan. Muslims insist that all 144,000 square meters of the UNESCO World Heritage Site are a single unit that has belonged to them for 11 centuries.

Qader said that Palestinians welcomed the Jordanian position but expressed concerns over a decline of support for Amman’s custodianship of the holy places at Al-Aqsa.

“There appears to have been a gradual deterioration of Arab and Islamic support to Jordan. It surprises me that Muslims have been quiet, perhaps they see an advantage if Jordan’s role is diminished? If true, this would be dangerous.”

Qader, a former minister in the Palestinian government and a current member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, told Arab News that Jordan’s position “guarantees continuation of the status quo.”