Iran ex-leader urged to reveal contents of 2009 meeting

By Mustafa Melih Ahishali

ISTANBUL (AA) – Mohamed Reza Naqdi, a senior officer in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (RGC), has urged former President Mohamed Khatami to disclose what was said at a 2009 meeting with the then king of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

Speaking to Iranian state television on Tuesday, Naqdi claimed that a tape recording existed of Khatami's meeting with the late Saudi monarch (who passed away in 2015).

When asked by reporters whether Khatami had received any money from Riyadh, Naqdi said the former president — who currently leads Iran’s reformist camp — should divulge the contents of the 2009 meeting.

Naqdi went on to point out that Khatami — who served as president from 1997 to 2005 — did not hold any official post at the time.

During the conversation, which allegedly took place shortly before Iran’s 2009 presidential election, Khatami had shared the reformists' political program with King Abdullah, according to the RGC officer.

Notably, Naqdi's assertions come shortly after Ahmad Montazeri, son of opposition cleric Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazari, issued statements potentially embarrassing to the RGC.

Known for having close ties to Iran’s reformist camp, Montazari on Saturday told Iran’s online Aparat TV channel that Saudi officials in 1986 had found explosive materials — which, he claimed, belonged to the RGC — in a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims.

Recent debate in Iran’s parliament regarding membership in a financial action task force has reignited longstanding tensions between Iran’s reformist and conservative camps.

*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this report from Ankara.

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