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Khatami’s Brother Prosecuted Over 2009 Election Fraud Claim

Mohammad Reza Khatami

The brother of Iran’s former reformist President Mohammad Khatami is being prosecuted for claiming in a recent interview that ballot-stuffing occurred during the disputed 2009 presidential election, a senior judiciary official has said.

Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi said on December 18 that Mohammad Reza Khatami, the former leader of a banned reformist political party, has not provided any proof to back his claim.

He said an indictment is about to be issued.

In an October interview, Khatami had described the 2009 vote as “unhealthy” while suggesting that 8 million fraudulent votes had been added to the ballot boxes at the Interior Ministry’s election headquarters to seal the victory of former hard-line President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

Khatami had said that “informed sources” from the conservative camp had told him about the alleged fraud.

Khatami also said he still believes that an “election coup” took place in the 2009 election that handed Ahmadinejad a second term.

Millions of Iranians protested Ahmadinejad’s reelection, which was followed by a state crackdown during which hundreds of reformists, journalists, and activists were arrested.

Ahmadinejad’s two main rivals, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Musavi along with his wife, university professor Zahra Rahnavard, and reformist cleric Mehdi Karrubi, who challenged the establishment over the vote, have been under house arrest since 2011.

Last year, a court in Iran sentenced seven reformist politicians, including Mohammad Reza Khatami, to one-year prison terms and barred them from political and media activity for two years after convicting them of anti-regime propaganda, their lawyer had said.

With reporting by RFE/RL’s Radio Farda and Mehr
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