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Former Iranian President Ahmadinejad Battling With Powerful Judiciary

Former Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad

Iran's chief prosecutor says authorities will soon issue an "appropriate" response to an ultimatum made by former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to the country's powerful judiciary.

Prosecutor-General Hojatoleslam Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said on December 18 that the judiciary will issue its response to Ahmadinejad “within a day or two.”

Ahmadinejad issued a 48-hour deadline for the judiciary on December 17, calling on it to issue documents proving that the former president and his close allies have been convicted of “sedition” and other crimes.

In an online video message, Ahmadinejad suggested that the ultimatum was a reaction to recent comments by judiciary head Sadegh Amoli Larijani, who had accused Ahmadinejad of damaging the Islamic establishment in Iran and involvement in “seditious acts.”

“I call on the head of the judiciary to publish within 48 hours documents proving that we’ve been convicted of sedition, deviation, or supporting [jailed businessman Babak Zadjani, who has been sentenced to death for corruption],” Ahmadinejad said.

“Otherwise, I will tell the people my views about you and your performance in the past eight years and I would defend my rights through the appropriate venues,” the former president added.

Montazeri has described Ahmadinejad’s presidency as a period of “lawlessness and lies.”

Ahmadinejad, who was president from 2005-13, has become increasingly isolated for challenging Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his powerful allies, namely the judiciary.

In his video message, Ahmadinejad said that “if the judiciary is reformed, then the whole country would be reformed.”

Last month, the former president accused the judiciary of "dictatorship" and said that it is more powerful than Khamenei.

Earlier this year, the Guardians Council -- which vets presidential candidates -- prevented Ahmadinejad and one of his top aides from running in the May election in which President Hassan Rohani was reelected.

Khamenei had suggested before the decision by the Guardians Council that Ahmadinejad's candidacy would not be in the best interest of the country.

With reporting by ISNA,, ILNA, and RFE/RL's Radio Farda
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