Iran Trials Condemned as Court Threatens to Jail Critics

Reformists, Conservatives Join in Criticism of Trails

As Iran began its trials of several key members of the Reformist opposition for their involvement in violent June protests, they faced blistering criticism from both Reformists and some high profile conservatives.

Former President Mohammad Khatami declared the trials were a sham and said they were an “insult” to the nation that would undermine public trust. Prominent conservative Mohsen Razaei, meanwhile, demanded that the government try not just the violent pro-Mousavi protesters but also hold accountable those who attacked the protesters.

Of the nearly 3,000 opposition figures arrested in the wake of the disputed June vote, only about 100 are expected to face trial. The government is alleging that many of them had contacts with foreign agents, in particular British spies, who they accused of fomenting the unrest.

The Revolutionary Court issued a statement cautioning that those criticizing the trials could themselves be jailed as dissidents. Given the enormous number of high profile critics, such a threat is almost certainly an empty one, but a sign that the government is still seeking to quiet the growing discontentment.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.