Another government critic arrested in Iran


Mehdi Khazali, head of Iran’s Medical Data Bank and son of hardliner, Ayatollah Abolghassem Khazali, was arrested yesterday by Iranian authorities.

According to media sources, Mehdi Khazali, a physician and anti-government blogger, was summoned to Evin Prison yesterday and arrested for “activities against national security and disturbing public minds.”

Mehdi Khazali nominated himself to run in the 2007 parliamentary elections but the Guardian Council disqualified him because he had made allegations of fraud in the ninth presidential elections.

A year later, he was disqualified from joining the National Medical Board but was voted into the governing board of Media Co-operative of Tehran.

In the past two years, he has repeatedly criticized Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his blog and website.

In an interview two years ago, Khazali was quoted as saying: “Ahmadinejad is an attention freak and is even willing to die in order to attain fame.”

He had also said: “Ahmadinejad will not be an obedient lamb, in fact I can see the day when he will stand up to the leader!”

Al-Arabiya quoted Khazali two years ago saying: “Ahmadinejad is Jewish-born and has changed his last name.”

Mehdi Khazali wrote condemning blogs regarding the violent reaction of the government to the widespread protests to the alleged vote fraud in the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

He was arrested last summer in the wave of arrests following the presidential elections and was released after three weeks on a $20,000 bail.

Mehdi Khazali, is the son of Ayatollah Abolghassem Khazali, a hardline member of the Assembly of Experts and a staunch Ahmadinejad supporter. The extremist cleric has disowned his son. Payvand