Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again proved his talent for making surprising headlines when he played a video for the parliament on February 3, 2013 implicating his political rivals, some of the country’s leading officials, in a corruption scandal.
Addressing the parliament to defend his labor minister against impeachment, Ahmadinejad went on the attack, playing lawmakers a surreptitious recording of Fazel Larijani, the brother of Ali Larijani, chairman of the parliament and Sadegh Larijani, head of the judiciary, that he said implicated the whole family in corruption.
In the video shown by Ahmadinejad, Fazel Larijani allegedly tells Saeed Mortazavi, Tehran’s former general prosecutor, that he will get his brothers Ali and Sadegh on board for lucrative secret deals in the petrochemical sector and other businesses.
Mortazavi who was responsible for the arrests of many people, including journalists, was arrested himself on February 4 after Ahmadinejad’s revelation, while Ali Larijani so far countered the allegations.
But it seems a faction of regime found (the otherwise blocked) YouTube in Iran a blessing and anonymously uploaded the video of Fazel Larijani’s meeting with Mortazavi. In total, four related films were published on YouTube after Mortazavi’s arrest.
Who is Mr.Z?
Users of Balatarin, a popular Iranian link-sharing site, focused on the presence of a “business man”, Babak Zanjani, in the videos related to the corruption scandal. EU sanctions documents describe Zanjani as “a key facilitator for Iranian oil deals and transferring oil related money”. Several sites called him Mr. Z but Baztab, an Iran based (banned) website describes Babak Zanjani in detail, with photos, as someone who became a billionaire overnight thanks to “oil business.”
Justice for Who?
Faryad22 writes in his blog [fa]:
Sadegh Larijani, head of the judiciary, for years put into practice Islamic sharia and ordered many young men’s hands and feet amputated [for theft]. You only need to make a simple search in Google to see the number of people whose hands and feet were amputated. Will Sadegh Larijani punish his brother in the same way with all the evidence available? Will his fingers be amputated in Azadi Stadium? Or may Islam forbid punishment for people who steal billions and only punish petty thieves?
Will Fazel Larijani be punished and his fingers be amputated like those of others, or is punishment only for petty thieves?
This article was written by Farid, and originally appeared on Global Voices.