Iranian reformist Mostafa Tajzadeh brought to justice: official media

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran has tried reformist politician Mostafa Tajzadeh, who was previously jailed and re-arrested last month, on charges of undermining state security, local media reported.

The 65-year-old – who ran unsuccessfully for the presidency last year as a reformist and “a political prisoner for seven years” – was put on trial in Tehran on Saturday, the Mizan Online news agency reported.

“Mostafa Tajzadeh’s hearing was held at branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court” before Judge Abolghassem Salavati, he said.

Tajzadeh had served as deputy interior minister during the 1997-2005 tenure of reformist former president Mohammad Khatami.

He was arrested in 2009 during protests contesting the re-election of then President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, contested by an opposition backing unsuccessful reformist candidates Mehdi Karoubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Tajzadeh was convicted the following year of undermining national security and propaganda against the state, and released in 2016 after serving his sentence.

Since his release, Tajzadeh has often called on the authorities to release Mousavi and Karoubi, who have been under house arrest for more than a decade because of the protests.

He submitted his candidacy in May 2021, after having long campaigned for “structural changes” and democratic in the Islamic republic.

He was arrested again on July 8 this year at his home and also faces charges of “publishing lies to disturb public opinion”, the Mehr news agency reported.

According to Mizan, Tajzadeh in court faced “three counts, including conspiracy against national security”.

The accused declined to speak in court, the report added.

His lawyer, Houshang Pourbabai, reportedly told the reformist newspaper Etemad that “three days ago, I went to Evin prison to meet my client with court permission”.

“My client refused to meet with me because he couldn’t speak to me face to face,” he said, adding that Tajzadeh had also announced that he “would not appear in court.”

Etemad quoted Tajzadeh’s wife as saying the activist “was forced to appear in court against his will”.

Mizan said that “in view of Tajzadeh’s refusal to answer questions, the judge announced that he would render his verdict within the legal time limit”.

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