Before the upcoming Presidential elections in Iran, while tensions rose between the candidates, a big confession came from the former President of Iran, Ahmadinejad. Speaking about the suspicious explosions and attacks on strategic facilities, which have now become a normal situation in the country, Ahmadinejad may be intimidating because his candidacy is not accepted in the new elections while emphasizing the failure of the administration.
Let’s start to examine the details together.
Iran’s former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has criticized the country’s intelligence services for failing to protect vital secrets and instead using their resources to spy on people and interfere in internal affairs.
In a two-hour video interview with a local online channel broadcast on May 29, Ahmadinejad said that instead of installing cameras to monitor his home, intelligence services should protect the Natanz nuclear facility, where an April explosion destroyed several uranium enrichment centrifuges.
Ahmadinejad said the incident caused “ten billion dollars” in damage. The New York Times and other media reported that the Natanz facility was sabotaged by Israel.
Iranian officials also admitted that the incident was an act of sabotage, but did not reveal an exact damage figure.
Alireza Zakani, an influential member of Iran’s parliament and current presidential candidate, said much of its enrichment capacity has been destroyed.
The former president also spoke about the theft of Iran’s nuclear archives by Israel in 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced at the United Nations in September of that year and accused Iran of secret activities that he hid from international investigators in the early 2000s.
Mohsen Rezaei, who was also a presidential candidate in the June poll, admitted for the first time that Israel stole nuclear documents in 2018 and complained about “security pollution” in Iranian intelligence agencies.
Ahmadinejad also mentioned the theft of documents from Iran’s space center for the first time, but did not elaborate. He claimed they “came from the roof” and stole the documents. The space center is responsible for Iran’s satellite launches.
The former president has accused the intelligence services of “treason” of misplacing threats to national security by attempting to spy on citizens and politicians rather than real enemies. He said the role of security agencies is to provide a safe environment for citizens to run their business and live in peace and security.
A few days before Ahmadinejad’s candidacy was rejected by Iran’s election watchdog, the Guardian Council, the interview touched upon a wide range of sensitive issues, including corruption, the need for reform, and relations with the countries of the region and the United States.
During his presidency, he claimed that regional Arab countries have good relations with Iran and selected the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait as countries that refused to help Iran during international sanctions ten years ago.
Regarding the internal situation in Iran, Ahmadinejad called for reforms on many levels, including a change in the behavior of state bodies and institutions. “They must act as if they belong to the people,” he said, and not act as they command. He warned that people lost trust in the system and that the outcome was “as you see it today”, adding that some security circles do not allow peaceful protests and have directed the country to violence because it is “in their own interest”.
Ahmadinejad also talked about the nuclear talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2010 and the proposal by the international community, including the United States, to supply Iran with 20 percent enriched uranium.
He claimed that local dissidents were able to stop the plan by accusing him of selling it to the West. Since 2017, Ahmadinejad has become a critic of other officials and some of the regime’s practices, even criticizing the Supreme Leader several times.
His bid to run for the presidency was blocked in 2017 and again in 2021 by the Council of the Guard, which operates under the direct control of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.