Iranian MP calls for prosecution of Rouhani

Iranian MP calls for prosecution of Rouhani based on TV drama plot
3 min read
07 September, 2021
An Iranian MP has called for the former president of Iran to be put on trial, based on what he saw on the popular television show 'Gando'.
Hassan Rouhani left office after serving the maximum of two terms in the presidency [Getty]

A conservative Iranian MP has called for the arrest and potential prosecution of moderate former President Hassan Rouhani, based on events he saw portrayed on the popular Iranian TV series "Gando".

Javad Nikbin, who represents the city of Kashmar in the Iranian parliament, told his colleagues that based on what he had viewed on the television series "Gando", Rouhani and his government should be investigated. 

"It's not expedient not to prosecute Hassan Rouhani and the team that betrayed us," he claimed, according to IranWire.

"Either 'Gando's' episodes currently being shown on TV are lies, or they are true. If they're lies it would be better to stop broadcasting it. If they're true, Rouhani and his team should be prosecuted as soon as possible," he continued. 

Named after a local species of crocodile known to ambush its prey, "Gando's" stars are counter-espionage agents of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), operating from a control room festooned with monitors, much like in the US thriller "24".

The thriller, which is indirectly produced by the IRGC and popular among hardliners, recently returned to Iranian screens after being pulled earlier in the year following a controversial storyline that included a spy among Iran's nuclear negotiators.

"Gando" is frequently critical of the previous moderate Iranian government and widely seen as part of efforts to undermine Rouhani.

Nikbin's comments follow calls by some hardliners for Rouhani to be put on trial, accusing his government of financial and security mistakes, political corruption, and cover-ups of wrongdoings in government.

On social media, the hashtag #Rouhani_Trial has been growing in popularity. 

"Do not allow betrayal and escape from punishment to become more common in our country," one commenter using the hashtag wrote.

Supporters of the Rouhani administration have pushed back against the calls.

Fazel Meybodi, a reformist cleric, suggested that if Rouhani were to be put on trial, others could find their positions at risk, a comment which appears directed at Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Others said that if the show continued to broadcast inaccurate content, then it should be taken off-air and action taken against the creators. 

"If these are lies, it won't suffice to stop broadcasting; the accusers and the broadcaster must also be prosecuted. In any society that deals with complex matters, ignoring the allegations is a sign that they are serious," reformist MP Abbas Abdi wrote. 

For its part, the ultra-conservative newspaper Kayhan in August hailed the "revelations" made in "Gando", including alleged links between senior officials and foreign missions, "in particular the British embassy".

Although Iranian officials usually hold the US and Israel as the Iranian state's greatest foes, neither has an embassy in Tehran.

Agencies contributed to this reporting