Supreme Leader Meets with Reformists, Journalists on Bail
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei held a meeting with three reformist figures ahead of Iran’s presidential elections in June. This is the first meeting between the Ayatollah and reformists since June 2009 when protests broke out following the last presidential election. The meeting included MP Majid Ansari, Iran’s former Minister of Industry Issac Jahangiri, and former Interior Minister Abdul Wahid Mousavi Lari. In a statement following the meeting, Ansari said “It was a good meeting; we met with the leader and spoke about the general issues of the country.” Al-Monitor reports that “The meeting with the supreme leader comes at the time when political circles are actively preparing a platform for elections, and drawing a map for candidates, whether they are from the ruling conservative or reformist movements.” The paper also notes that sources believe the talks are designed to show an improving political situation in Iran “in order to ensure the largest participation possible in the elections.” Abbas Abdi, a well-known reformist, praised the meeting and called on higher ranking reformists to engage with the government in a similar fashion.
Also in Iran, a prosecutor announced yesterday that Javad Deliri, a journalist recently arrested in a crackdown against foreign media, would be released on bail. He is the third journalist to be released on bail in the past week, joining Fatemeh Sagharchi and Motahareh Sahfii. The three released journalists will return to court for a trial on a date still to be determined. Of the 16 originally arrested, 13 are still in jail.