Iran's Parliament Speaker Mohamad Bagher Ghalibaf says he will take a former lawmaker to court for claiming that he has bought two luxury apartments in Turkey.
Former lawmaker Gholam Ali Jafarzadeh Imanabadi wrote in an April 26 tweet: "I said in an interview with Didban Iran website that further to Ghalibaf family's luxury layette shopping spree in Turkey, they have also bought two apartments in Istanbul in the name of Ghalibaf's son-in-law."
The former lawmaker continued: "Instead of offering an explanation or apology, Ghalibaf has filed a complaint against me. There needs to be an open court that would also investigate the cases of Ghalibaf's [8 trillion rial corruption] case about the Tehran Municipality,” and the case involving [former IRGC Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari's leaked tape about Ghalibaf's involvement in a major corruption case.
Imanabadi had said in the interview with Didban Iran: "The person who has bought two apartments for 20 million Turkish Liras in one of Turkey's best neighborhood as well as 20 suitcase-full of layettes, has undermined the regime's prestige and should be removed from positions of power at once."
Subsequently, an advisor to Ghalibaf told the media that the Speaker will definitely file a complaint against Imanabadi.
Didban Iran reporter Nazila Maroofian wrote in a tweet: "Ghalibaf's aides have threatened us [about the interview] and at the same time they have filed a complaint against Imanabadi."
Imanabadi during his tenure in parliament.
The website was not accessible Wednesday morning.
Earlier, Ian International TV and the Independent in Persian had reported that Ghalibaf's family had paid 400 billion rials ($1.6 million) to buy two apartments in Turkey.
Mahmoud Razavi, an adviser to Ghalibaf has characterized the revelations about the apartments in Turkey as "a new dimension of a security and political project." He suggested that those who have the evidence about the purchase at their disposal should hand them over to Imanabadi so that he could defend himself in court.
Razavi had said earlier that the disclosures "were part of a security project carried out by a security organization." He added that the project aimed to eliminate Qalibaf as a rival.
Ghalibaf hass so far kept silent about his family's visit to Turkey. However, his aides and supporters including the hardliner daily Kayhan which is close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's office, Parviz Sorouri, a deputy chief of the Tehran City Council and a few Iranian lawmakers have harshly attacked his detractors.
On the other hand, Vahid Ashtari, the whistle-blower who first revealed the story, wrote in a tweet: "One week after returning from Turkey, they still cannot offer any explanation. They are not brave enough to apologize or to deny the reports."
Some media outlets in Iran, however, have accused the Raisi administration of spreading the news about Ghalibaf's family's luxury shopping because of the administration's differences with the speaker. However, they have not given any details to back their accusations.
Khamenei and his office have so far been cautiously silent about the scandal. Iran International analyst Morad Veisi wrote in a tweet on Tuesday: "Khamenei and his office's policy about Ghalibaf's family's controversial visit to Turkey has been one of not clearly supporting Ghalibaf or his critics. Regardless of Ghalibaf's corruption, Khamenei likes his loyalty and his preparedness to suppress protestors at any given time. [The motto is:] Be loyal and supress. Who cares if you ae corrupt?"