Iran put several leading reformers in the dock yesterday, media reported, in its fourth mass trial of people accused of fomenting unrest after June’s disputed presidential election.
Those tried in a Revolutionary Court yesterday included former deputy interior minister Mostafa Tajzadeh, former deputy foreign minister Mohsen Aminzadeh, former government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh and Iranian-American academic Kian Tajbakhsh, news agencies said.
Saaed Hajjarian, a former deputy intelligence minister turned architect of Iran’s reform movement, was also among the accused, the official IRNA news agency said. Hajjarian was disabled after an assassination attempt in 2000.
“In the fourth court session, the elements and plotters of the recent riots and disturbances in Iran will be put on trial and some of them are expected to present their defiance,” IRNA said.
The June 12 election plunged the Islamic Republic into its most serious internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution and exposed deep divisions in its ruling elite.
Analysts regard the trials as an attempt by the authorities to uproot the moderate opposition and put an end to the street protests that erupted after the poll.
Most of those on trial held their positions during the 1997 to 2005 presidency of Mohammad Khatami, who backed moderate opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi in the election against the incumbent, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, who came second and fourth in the election respectively, say the vote was rigged to secure the re-election of Ahmadinejad.
Iran has held three mass trials already this month of more than 100 detainees, including a former vice president and other senior politicians, on charges including acting against national security, which is punishable by death.
French teaching assistant Clotilde Reiss and two Iranians working for the British and French embassies in Tehran were among those tried on Aug. 8.
After the first session on Aug. 1, Khatami said it violated Iran’s Constitution and Mousavi said confessions by some of the accused were made under duress.
Others tried yesterday included former economy minister Mohsen Safaie-Farahani, former mines and industries minister Behzad Nabavi, business newspaper editor Saeed Laylaz and journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi, media reported.