A campaign seeking judicial trial of former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is heating up with the new conservative government in power in Tehran.
A hardline lawmaker on Sunday raised the issue in parliament, saying the “patience of people is running out” while urging the judiciary chief to initiate legal proceedings against the former reformist president.
Javad Nikoban said either the telecast of Gando, a popular Iranian television series, should be stopped or Rouhani needs to be prosecuted.
“Either Gando is a lie or it is truth. If it is a lie, it should be stopped, and if it is truth, Rouhani’s trial should begin,” the lawmaker said.
The widely popular drama series, based on true incidents, features Iran’s intelligence sleuths and foreign spies as main protagonists. It was banned by the Rouhani government after it portrayed top government officials as corrupt.
The campaign, which began in the final months of Rouhani’s second term in office, has gained momentum after the conservative government led by his former political rival Ebrahim Raeisi assumed charge in August.
The hashtag “Rouhani Trial” has been trending in Iranian cyberspace in recent days, with netizens demanding the trial of the former president for “financial irregularities, political corruption, insecurity, and foreign policy fiascos” in the last eight years.
One Twitter user, Mohammad Shirvani, said if Rouhani and his aides are not tried, it will “set a bad precedent” for the future.
Iran’s Conservative-controlled parliament in April this year had filed a complaint against Rouhani in the judiciary for refusing to sign at least 13 legal documents. In the following months, many conservative voices have joined the chorus against the former president.
In June, lawmaker Mohsen Dehnavi said Rouhani and his deputy Ishaq Jahangiri must be tried “for looting and distributing 60 tons of the country’s gold reserves and $18 billion in foreign currency among their friends.”
Recently, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also joined the campaign, calling for the prosecution of Rouhani and his senior cabinet ministers.
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