A former general of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards has accused the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, of having blood on his hands over the brutal crackdown on the opposition, and described government claims that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful as a "sheer lie".
Identified only by his initials, the general says that he and a number of his colleagues were threatened with execution for disloyalty and then – after a series of secret courts-martial – dismissed "because we refused to participate in the betrayals and the crimes committed by our seniors".
"I'm writing this letter to you to tell our people that there are still many generals and members of staff within the Revolutionary Guards who are opposed to these crimes and are waiting to join the people," the letter reads.
Speaking to the Guardian by telephone from Tehran, Nourizad – who published the general's letter on his website – said he was convinced of its authenticity because it was handed to him in person by the former general.
"This is one of the many such letters written by senior figures within the Sepah [Revolutionary Guards] that I have received. I have refrained from publishing many of them because I was worried they might pose security problems," said Nourizad.
...The general also accuses Khamenei of lying about Iran's nuclear programme, which is now subject to an international dispute, the general casts doubt on what the regime officials claim to be "peaceful" activities, describing them as the country's "nuclear gamble".
"The inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency are fooling themselves if they believe that the nuclear facilities on and under the ground are only for peaceful purposes," he writes. "The leader said [in a fatwa] that Iran has only peaceful intentions with its nuclear activities. This is a sheer lie."
Wow, two confirmations that Iran has a nuclear weapons program in one day. Will this make the world wake up and take the threat seriously?