Iran’s judicial authorities have once again denied a request by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Tehran’s Evin prison, where his top media advisor Ali Akbar Javanfekr is serving time.
“[O]n no account will a visit to Evin prison be allowed without coordination,” Sadeq Larijani, the head of the judiciary, said on Wednesday, according to Iran’s student news agency.
“The notion that the president has the right to supervise other powers (the judiciary) is completely false,” he said.
The decision is viewed as yet another indication that Ahmadinejad’s power is waning as his last year in office comes to an end.
The judiciary turned down Ahmadinejad’s first request to visit the Evin on Sunday, saying it was not in Iran’s best interests for him to spend time on such a visit at a time when the country is facing an economic crisis.
"As we are faced with special circumstances and the country's priorities are the economy and people's living conditions, all authorities should focus on solving key issues... visiting a prison is extraneous," chief prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie told ISNA news agency at the time.
Ahmadinejad replied accusing the judiciary of unconstitutional conduct.
Javanfekr, who was also the head of the country’s state news agency IRNA, was sent to Evin in September to serve a six-month sentence for publishing an article deemed offensive to Islam and public decency.