In an interview with euronews network, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the Iranian judiciary as an independent organ free of political interference, adding that opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have their issues with the judiciary.
Euronews's John Davis interviewing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Last night, in an interview with John Davis in the English section of the euronews, Ahmadinejad said recent uprisings in the region are completely different from the Iranian protests that followed his re-election in 2009. Ahmadinejad's re-election was marred by allegations of vote fraud, which triggered widespread protests that were violently suppressed by the government.
Ahmadinejad insisted that Iranian elections are completely free and open but "attacking buildings, people and cars is prohibited in any country."
Ahmadinejad addressed the issue of free speech for the opposition, including opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who have been under house arrest since last February and cut off from the outside world. "They have their issues with the judiciary," Ahmadinejad said. "The judiciary is independent, and I do not have the right to interfere in the workings of the judges."
He insisted, however, that Islamic Republic law allows for freedom of expression and said no one has been incarcerated for expressing ideas.
He added: "The political situation in Europe is worse than in countries such as Iran because they do not allow an opposition to take shape, and anyone who protests against or criticizes historical issues is incarcerated."
Ahmadinejad also commented on recent reports on his dispute with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, saying: "The position of the leader in Iran is very clear, and there are no differences or disputes there."
On his recent dispute with Parliament, he said: "Differences of opinion and taste are tools of a free society, and discussion and the exchange of opinion between Parliament and the administration is not a negative thing. Because Iran is a free country and everyone is allowed to express his or her opinion."
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