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Karrubi Calls On Iran's Assembly Of Experts To Hold Leader Accountable

Former parliament speaker Mehdi Karrubi speaks during a press conference in Tehran in March 2008.

A leading Iranian reformist has called upon the panel of conservative clerics tasked with supervising the work of Iran's supreme leader to hold Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accountable instead of showering him with "praise."

Reformist cleric Mehdi Karrubi, who's been under house arrest since 2011, said Iran's Assembly of Experts should hold Khamenei responsible for three decades of policies that he says have brought Iran to its current "regrettable" situation.

Karrubi made the remarks in an open letter published on September 2 on an Iranian opposition website.

The letter comes as Iran struggles with high inflation, unemployment, and a plunging national currency -- economic problems that have led to sporadic protests in cities across Iran.

The letter also follows the reimposition of U.S. sanctions against Iran under a decision in May by President Donald Trump to withdraw from Iran's landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Karrubi said the Assembly of Experts, which has been accused of being a rubber-stamp organization for the supreme leader, to question Khamenei about the role of powerful bodies such as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in the country's economy.

"Why don't you demand the leader explain the reasons behind the involvement of IRGC, Basij [militia], and police forces" in banking, the sale of oil, and other matters.

In January, Karrubi accused Khamenei of abusing his power and called on the supreme leader to change course.

Karrubi and former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Musavi, as well as Musavi's wife and women's rights advocate Zahra Rahnavard, have been confined to house arrest since 2011 after challenging the Iranian clerical establishment and highlighting its human rights abuses.

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