The Deputy Speaker of the Majlis Mohammadreza Bahonar in a lengthy interview with Mehr addressed the issues around the 2013 presidential election and what has followed or is likely to follow.
Bahonar pointed to the then governmental to-be representative in the elections and said "If Mashaei had run for presidency Rouhani would have won with 70 percent of the votes.”
He added that if Mashaei had been deemed qualified for candidacy "Velayati and Qalibaf would not have remained silent to let Mashaei win the election. They would have made coalition even if it would have gone against their will. Then it would have been for or against Mashaei.”
"People underwent 8 years of extreme Reformism and 8 years of the extremist Ahmadinejad administration. Although the public knew Ahmadinejad largely as representing the Principalist wing but he himself did not believe that he was a Principalist. So after 16 years of extremism, people took refuge in moderation,” Bahonar asserted.
He also provided comments on the state of political prisoners and said "The Islamic Republic of Iran is never interested in having someone in jail. There is no reason for it to be so. The country does not only gain no benefit from the prisons section, it suffers social, political, and economic loss.”
He added "After all with the breakthrough that happened many of the trite views of the pretenders were laid waste and the thought that the state had committed fraud on the 09 election went bland. These events were a sort of shock to someone hand they found out that they had made a mistake. They say that they had gone the wrong path and said the wrong word; that they made the mistake and they got the punishment. But there are some who persist on their views. It is obvious that the government will treat them differently. So, it is obvious that the views of Karoubi and Mousavi will influence their freedom. We do not intent to tell them what to do. They have done great wrong to the revolution, the state, and national interests. They are surely unable to make up for all their wrongs. They must repent to God. But they must do as much as they can; and such actions will surely influence the state decisions.”