AFP: A grandson of Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini has withdrawn from next week’s parliamentary polls amid a smear campaign, the press reported on Sunday. TEHRAN (AFP) A grandson of Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini has withdrawn from next week’s parliamentary polls amid a smear campaign, the press reported on Sunday.
Ali Eshraghi had withdrawn from the March 14 elections after “rumours” about his life appeared on Internet sites, his sister Zahra Eshraghi was quoted as saying in the Sarmayeh newspaper.
He decided to withdraw “at the request of the family of imam Khomeini”, Zahra Eshragi added.
She lamented “the rumours against Ali Eshraghi that have embarrassed the members of imam Khomeini’s family”, adding that there was “no black mark” in his life.
Ali Eshraghi was among hundreds of reformist candidates disqualified in the first round of vetting for the elections but was then reinstated after the veto caused uproar from many prominent figures.
He expressed astonishment at the time of his disqualification that inspectors conducting the vetting had asked his neighbours about his private life, including if he shaved, smoked and what kind of car he drove.
Ali Eshraghi’s disqualification, reinstatement and withdrawal is not the only controversy surrounding the Khomeini family in the run-up to the election.
The most prominent grandson of Khomeini, Hassan, who looks after the late leader’s shrine, also waded into the election campaign last month by criticising the disqualifications and military influence in politics.
This provoked an extraordinary personal attack on the youthful mid-ranking cleric by a conservative website.
In a piece entitled “The secrets about the rosy cheeks of Seyyed Hassan Khomeini” the Nosazi websites made allegations about him owning a BMW car, having a personal steam sauna and living in affluent north Tehran.
In the ensuing backlash, Nosazi and four other websites were shut down and its chief editor arrested.
Zahra Eshraghi meanwhile complained some Internet sites were continuing to publish defamatory articles about Ali Eshraghi.
“If that continues we will create our own site to reveal many cases that perhaps exist,” she warned.
Eshragi, who is married to the brother of reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatami has herself been a controversial figure with hardliners for her unashamed championing of feminism in Iran.