Iran Judiciary Lashes Out at President, Prolonging Jail Spat

The head of Iran’s judiciary insisted on barring Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from a Tehran prison visit, in the latest flare-up of a public dispute that has exposed mounting tensions between the president and his political rivals.

“Given the recent letter and the situation that has been created in no way will we allow a visit of Evin prison to take place without coordination,” Sadegh Larijani, who heads the judiciary, was cited as saying today in a state-run Mehr news agency report.

Larijani referred to an Oct. 22 open letter by Ahmadinejad who said that as the head of the executive branch of government, he didn’t need “permission or approval” to visit the prison in northern Tehran where one of his aides has been held for close to a month.

Ahmadinejad’s bid to visit the prison has brought to the surface tensions in the ruling elite. His critics have multiplied attacks, emboldened by his inability to counter the effects of international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program that have led to a drop in the currency’s value and to soaring inflation.

“That the president considers scrutiny on other powers as his right is an utterly wrong view,” Larijani said. His letter “has an incorrect reading of the limits of the three powers’ lawful roles.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at

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