Ahmadinejad Latest: Iran Leader’s Brother-In-Law Linked To Israel
In a note published Sunday by Dolat-e Bahar, a website closely associated with the former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's brother-in-law Hassan Khojasteh, former deputy head of the state broadcaster IRIB, of having had links to Israel.
Ahmadinejad has long claimed to have a trove of secrets that he might at any stage reveal. His latest nugget is that 12 years ago Khojasteh − the brother of Khamenei’s wife Mansoureh Khojasteh − and his family were hosted by an Israeli company during a visit to India and had arranged to visit Tel Aviv, arriving via Turkey.
Earlier this month Ahmadinejad claimed Israel had infiltrated the highest ranks of Iranian intelligence. In an interview published May 29, he said this explained why security services had failed to protect the nuclear documents allegedly stolen by Israel in 2018 and to prevent Israeli attacks on atomic sites like the underground Natanz enrichment facility, which was sabotaged in April, prompting Iran to increase uranium enrichment to 60 percent.
Ahmadinejad now claims that he found out − when president (2005-13) − about Khojasteh's activities and issued an order preventing his trip to Israel "to save him from scandal and this quagmire." Khojasteh was then, according to Ahmadinejad, abruptly removed from his position as head of the state-controlled radio while the matter was not investigated further "due to certain considerations."
In a tweet after Ahmadinejad's note, former IRIB head Ezzatollah Zarghami rejected the former president's allegations, saying Khojasteh had been moved from chief of state radio to its planning department and that this had no connection with "recent rumors." Khojasteh was planning and supervision deputy of IRIB from 2008 to 2014.
Ahmadinejad also alleged that Khojasteh had previously used his role at IRIB radio to sabotage him and his government. These allegations were all served up a day after Khojasteh tweeted criticism of Ahmadinejad for declaring he would not vote in the June 18 presidential election after the watchdog Guardian Council refused to let him run, just as it had done in 2017. Khojasteh called Ahmadinejad one of the "scoundrels/outsiders" whose motives had been exposed by their behavior over the election.
After Ahmadinejad’s techy relationship with Khamenei came to a head in 2011, many principlists who had earlier supported his presidency, including his anti-Israeli rhetoric, denounced him as a self-serving opportunist. Some called him a seditionist.
Yossi Cohen, former head of the Israeli external intelligence Mossad, in an interview June 10 suggested Israel was responsible both for attacks on Iran’s nuclear sites and November’s killing of scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. The government of Benjamin Netanyahu has opposed the aspiration of now United States president Joe Biden to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, from which Netanyahu’s ally President Donald Trump withdrew the US in 2018.