Reformist leader Mehdi Karroubi stated that Iranian authorities are attempting to replicate the current parliament, despite claims of inviting political parties to participate in the elections.
Karroubi, who has been under house arrest for 13 years, gave his remarks before the reformist “Etemad Melli” party conference.
“All avenues are closed for participation in the elections, despite the rulers’ claims of inviting participation in the parliamentary elections,” said Karroubi.
“They are attempting to replicate the current parliament,” he added, according to the Etemad newspaper.
Karroubi believes that “the rulers, in the absence of opposition party presence in parliament, legitimize every unlawful act,” and he called for “exposing and thwarting the conspiracy.”
The reformist leader also criticized the “supervisory role” of the Guardian Council, which grants extensive powers to disqualify candidates during the eligibility review process.
Karroubi also referred to his role in founding the Etemad Melli party.
“Holding the annual conference in the worst political and social conditions of the country confirms the determination of comrades and friends,” he said, adding that he does not “regret the political formation, as it is a step towards political development in the country.”
“The foundation of the revolution has no meaning without democracy in Iran, and democracy means nothing without political parties,” explained Karroubi.
“In the absence of political parties, a group of individuals controls the country,” he added.
Karroubi ran for the presidential elections in 2009 and, at that time, alongside another candidate, former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, led the protests against the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, citing widespread fraud.
In his statements to the Etemad Melli party conference attendees, Karroubi defended his slogan from 2009, and said: “My slogan was change, and there is no other path.”
He stressed the need to restore trust to the people and urged recognizing the popular demands to prevent the “destruction of Iran.”