Tehran: A former general of Iran`s powerful Revolutionary Guards has accused the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, of having blood on his hands over the brutal crackdown on the opposition.
According to a report, the unnamed official, in a letter to prominent opposition activist Mohammad Nourizad, also described government claims that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful as a ‘sheer lie’.
The former officer gave a rare glimpse of political dissent within the ranks of the elite force in charge of the nuclear programme and Khamenei`s personal security, The Guardian reports.
The officer revealed that he and a number of his colleagues were threatened with execution for disloyalty, and then, after a series of secret courtmartials, were dismissed ‘because we refused to participate in the betrayals and the crimes committed by our seniors’.
According to the general, an order to open fire on the protesters in 2009 came from the Khamenei, the paper said.
“[In 2009,] the leader [Khamenei] asked Rahim Safavi [a former chief commander of the guards] whether he would be prepared to run over people with tanks if they took to streets to revolt. He said yes and the leader gave him the order,” the official wrote.
"They shut our mouth for years by saying that the leader wanted this or that … But we could no more keep it shut after the post-election bloodshed. This was the point many spoke out or simply refused to comply,” he added.
According to the paper, the officer also accused Khamenei of lying about Iran`s nuclear programme.
“The inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency are fooling themselves if they believe that the nuclear facilities on and under the ground are only for peaceful purposes,” the official wrote.
“The leader said [in a fatwa] that Iran has only peaceful intentions with its nuclear activities. This is a sheer lie,” he added.