The Iranian authorities placed former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad under house arrest after he had publicly criticized the current Iranian government, according to a report of the UK-based al-Quds al-Arabi on January 6.
According to al-Quds al-Arabi, Ahmadinejad accused the government of Iran President Hassan Rouhani of mismanagement and criticized it during a public speech in the southern city of Bushehr on December 28.
“Some of the current leaders live detached from the problems and concerns of the people and do not know anything about the reality of society … What it suffers Iran today is mismanagement and not lack of economic resources,” Ahmadinejad said in his public speech, according to al-Quds al-Arabi.
The al-Quds al-Arabi report suggested that Ahmadinejad’s statement was likely a response to President Rouhani, who accused him earlier of planning to confront the Iranian government.
Western and Arab media linked the supposed house arrest of Ahmadinejad to the current protests in Iran, that also begin on December 28. However, the former Iranian president faced several legal problems after he left the presidential office in 2011.
On December 18, 2017, Iran Prosecutor-General Hojatoleslam Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said that the Iranian judiciary will take legal steps against Ahmadinejad after accusing him and some of his close allies of “sedition” and other crimes. Both sides later exchanged offensive statement against each other with Montazeri describing Ahmadinejad’s presidency as a period of “lawlessness and lies” on one occasion.
These facts suggest that the supposed house arrest of Ahmadinejad might have more to do with his personal legal problems, rather the ongoing anti-government protests in Iran.