Conservative lawmaker Ali Motahari has accused the Revolutionary Guards Corps of “meddling” in the country’s 2012 parliamentary elections. Addressing fellow parliamentarians on Sunday, Motahari said the IRGC’s role in the 2 March elections was a “point of weakness” for the elite fighting force. He argued that the IRGC’s involvement in the vote had had a “damaging” impact on the IRGC, as well as the Islamic Republic itself. “The IRGC’s interference in many of the polling stations was evident and many of the candidates—both those who were elected and those who weren’t—confirm this reality.” The MP stated that during the election process, the IRGC “seriously backed” candidates it wished to see in parliament. “The IRGC’s interference in the elections was damaging to itself, and a danger to the revolution and the Islamic system.” While serving as MP in the eighth Majlis, Ali Motahari, the son of the late Ayatollah Motahari, one of the Islamic Republic’s principal theoreticians and founders, also led the initiative to question Ahmadinejad, albeit unsuccessfully.
Following opposition protests in February 2011, he said that the Green Movement’s leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi should be allowed to speak their mind on national television. Motahari won his way into the Majlis during the second round of elections held on 4 May. Prior to the March elections, Iran’s major reformist groups boycotted the vote and the Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope, an important decision-making body within the opposition Green Movement, called on Iranians to “stay in their homes” on Election Day.