Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iranian intelligence agencies keep many ordinary Iranian citizens and political activists under surveillance and wiretap. He made these remarks in an interview that was posted on his official YouTube channel on May 29, 2021. Ahmadinejad claimed that Iranian intelligence agencies installed surveillance cameras on his home and asked why they were concentrating these efforts on keeping tabs on him, while they fail to protect the Natanz nuclear plant from explosions or prevent nuclear documents from being taken to other countries. The interviewer suggested that surveillance of Ahmadinejad was done in order to protect him, to which Ahmadinejad said that his life is "out in the open." He added, referring to Iran's intelligence agencies: "You people are betraying our country." Ahmadinejad served as President of Iran from 2005 to 2013. His candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections in Iran was rejected.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "Do you know how much our country is spending on wiretapping people? They wiretap ordinary people, political activists. Where in our laws does it say that the intelligence organizations should monitor political activists? They wiretap people against the law. They place guards... Why did they install cameras at the entrance to my home?"
Interviewer: "They want to protect you so that nobody harms you."
Ahmadinejad: "That security gang is mixing the threats. Mr. Security Gang, you and your security organization should install cameras in Natanz to prevent people from coming, blowing it up, and causing our people $10 billion worth of damage. You should install your cameras in Turquzabad, that they won't come and take the genuine [nuclear] documents of our country. You should install the cameras in our space organization, so that they won't drill a hole through the roof and take our country's documents. Are you protecting me? My life is out in the open. I even laughed with them and said to them: Give me the camera. I will put it on myself and broadcast to you online. You people are betraying our country."