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Iran president summoned to criminal court

Outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official website; BBC profile] was summoned to a criminal court on Monday. Although the charges were not specified, this may be the continuation of a longstanding political battle [JURIST news archive] between Ahmadinejad and Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani [official website, in Persian], who recently filed a complaint against him. While Larijani, a conservative leader, has repeatedly criticized the president, Ahmadinejad has returned in kind by attempting to publicize incriminating evidence against Larijani's son in recent months. When Ahmadinejad played an audio recording of alleged evidence [AP report] against Larijani's son in parliament, it was incomprehensible, and Larijani quickly asked the president to leave. Retaliatory actions ensued, and it is believed that the criminal charges will be revealed to be a part of this ongoing confrontation.

This summons comes only three days after the candidate Ahmadinejad supported failed to meet the threshold amount of support to make Friday's presidential ballot [Guardian report]. Ahmadinejad, who has already completed two terms, was constitutionally barred [text] from running for office a third time. Hassan Rouhani [BBC backgrounder], a moderate and former chief nuclear negotiator, won the election and has vowed to move towards more peaceful negotiations with the west regarding international nuclear arms and human rights issues [JURIST news archive].

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