Abolfazl Ghadian, former supporter of the Islamic Republic who has turned into a fierce critic.

Former Revolutionary Says Khamenei Fears Public Awareness

Saturday, 04/06/2024

Responding to a recent verdict against a prominent Iranian sociologist, former political prisoner Abolfazl Ghadiani (Qadiani) has suggested that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s fears public awareness.

Saeed Madani, a sociologist, university professor, and political activist associated with the national-religious movement, received a nine-year prison sentence in November 2022 on charges such as "forming and managing opposition groups, conspiring against national security, and propagating against the regime." He had voiced support for anti-government protests at the time. Following this, he was transferred from Evin Prison to Damavand Prison on Tuesday.

“Khamenei, the tyrannical and ruthless dictator of Iran, and his oppressive supporters are in constant fear of public awareness and the spread of public knowledge; and for this reason, they are hostile to Madani and others like him and make them the target of their hatred and revenge,” Ghadiani said in a letter released on Thursday. In recent years, the former revolutionary and supporter of the Islamic Republic has turned into a staunch critic of Khamenei’s regime.

According to the former political prisoner, the regime has intensified its repressive measures against protesters and dissenters following the massive boycott of Iran’s recent elections in March that he and others have dubbed as Khamenei’s “disastrous fiasco.”

Imprisoned Iranian sociologist Saeed Madani

Iran’s Supreme Leader time and again called on Iranians to vote in parliamentary and the Assembly of Experts elections held on March 1. However, according to official statistics, only around 40% of the eligible voters participated in the elections, the lowest turnout in the history of the Islamic Republic. Many opposition activists contend that the actual turnout was even lower than the one announced by the government.

Calling the regime’s rising pressure on Madani “futile,” Ghadiani stressed that the sociologist and other political prisoners “will continue their struggle against tyranny under any circumstances and will have even greater impact.”

Further in his letter, the political dissident rejected Khameni’s reign over Iran as “illegal, illegitimate and usurping,” warning that the regime’s oppressions will continue as long as he is in power. At the end of his letter, Ghadiani expressed hope that Iranians would be able to replace the corrupt regime of the Islamic Republic with a secular democratic republic based on human rights.

On Wednesday, several high profile political prisoners voiced condemnation over the recent sentencing of Madani to exile, describing the action as “a desperate attempt to quell dissent.” Among the signatories were Golrokh Iraee, Alireza Eradati, Rasoul Bodaghi, Mostafa Tajzadeh, and Mahvash Sabet.

Ghadiani, 80, has been one of the most vocal and staunch opponents of Iran’s Supreme Leader over the past years. He belonged to a leftist, revolutionary group that was supporting the Islamic Republic and Khamenei until the disputed presidential election of 2009, when the Supreme Leader backed the questionable re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ghadiani, with many others, protested the results and was jailed to become an opposition figure.

Receiving a 10-month jail sentence in July 2023, he said he is ready to go to prison “in Ali Khamenei’s dictatorial regime.” However, he refused to attend the court session and the authorities have refrained from implementing the verdict.

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