A reformist politician who called for ‘structural changes’ to Iran and slammed the regime’s “costly and pro-Russian foreign policy driven by anti-Americanism” has been jailed for five years.
Sayyid Mostafa Tajzadeh, 65, is an Iranian reformist politician as well as a senior figure of the Islamic Iran Participation Front and a Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution of Iran Organization who was incarcerated at the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran from 2009 until 2016.
He was arrested again on 8th July this year and has now been jailed for five years by the regime, according to his lawyer.
Tajzadeh’s lawyer, Houshang Pourbabai, said: “My client Mostafa Tajzadeh was sentenced to five years for plotting against state security, two years for publishing lies and one year for propaganda against the system.”
He added that Tajzadeh had chosen not to appeal his sentence and had already begun serving his sentence. Pourbabai also said that the prison terms would run concurrently, meaning that he will serve five years in total.
Tajzadeh had reportedly refused to put up any defence during his trial, which began on 13th August.
Tajzadeh’s wife and fellow activist Fakhrossadat Mohtashamipour has reportedly expressed concern that he is being kept in solitary confinement, despite being in poor health.
Tajzadeh is a former minister of the Iranian government who served under the presidency of reformist Mohammad Khatami. Khatami pushed for a rapprochement with the West from 1997 to 2005.
But Tajzadeh was jailed for seven years after the reelection of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad triggered protests in 2009.
Tajzadeh tried to run for president last year but his candidacy was rejected by the regime’s Guardian Council, which is in charge of vetting candidates.
During his campaign, he ran as a “citizen” and “a reformist”, as well as a “political prisoner for seven years”.
He slammed “blocks on the internet” and the ” interference by the military in politics, the economy and elections”, as well as what he termed a “costly and pro-Russian foreign policy driven by anti-Americanism”.
Mahsa Amini, 22, from Saqqez, Kurdistan Province, was on a visit to Tehran when she was arrested by morality police accused of violating hijab rules on 13th September.
She was allegedly beaten while in custody and spent the following days in a coma in the hospital before succumbing in the ICU on 16th September.
The clinic where she was treated said in a now-deleted social media post that she had been admitted brain-dead.
Alleged medical scans of her skull leaked by hackers showed that she had suffered bone fractures, haemorrhages, and brain oedema.
Anti-regime media are claiming that Mahsa’s medical records showing her history of heart disease were faked by the Iranian government.
The protests her death sparked are ongoing and, according to the non-profit Iran Human Rights, at least 201 people, including 28 children, have been killed so far, according to its latest figures released on 12th October.