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  • » 11/22/2007, 00.00

    IRAN

    Tehran paper in a rare attack against Ahmadinejad



    Daily close to supreme leader criticises the president for treating his political opponents as traitors and spies. Meanwhile Larijani’s deputy quits, replaced by an Ahmadinejad loyalist.

    Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In a rare hard-hitting piece, a Tehran paper attacked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his immoral, illogical and illegal treatment of his political opponents. The article in the Islamic Republic daily, close to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, referred to a speech by Mr Ahmadinejad made last week when he attacked people opposed to his nuclear programme.

    Although the president did not mention any names, most pundits believe that his target was former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, who in turn had accused him of harming the country’s interests with his verbal hyperbole, and attacked Hossein Mousavian, a Rafsanjani ally who had been Iran’s main nuclear negotiator between 1997 and 2005.

    Mr Mousavian was arrested on an “unspecified security charge” and is now free on bail.

    The paper said Mr Ahmadinejad was using this tactic to discredit his political rivals prior to the parliamentary elections due early next year.

    Such a direct personal attack against the president from a publication with impeccable Islamic credentials might signal Supreme Leader Khamenei’s intention of clipping Ahmadinejad’s wings.

    Some ten days ago Ahmadinejad had scored some major points in the ongoing power struggle at the top of Iran’s power structure when Rahmani Fazli resigned from his post at the Supreme National ‎Security Council (SNSC).

    Mr Fazli was deputy to former SNSC secretary Ali Larijani, who was in charge of nuclear talks for ten years till his resignation a month ago.

    Mr Larijani was replaced by Saeed Jalili, another Ahmadinejad loyalist.

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    See also

    13/11/2007 IRAN
    Ahmadinejad attacks “domestic traitors” who oppose Iran’s nuclear programme
    Iranian president responds to Rafsanjani without naming him. Former president had called for national unity against US threats because of Iran’s nuclear programme, something which Ahmadinejad has dismissed.

    29/07/2009 IRAN
    Under pressure, Ahmadinejad calls for the release of demonstrators in Tehran
    About 140 prisoners have already been released. For the past several days the opposition has complained about violence and torture. A prison is shut down on order of Supreme Leader Khamenei. Authorities deny opposition the right to hold a rally to commemorate post-election crackdown victims. Iranian president is attacked by Conservatives for not obeying Khamenei.

    16/07/2009 IRAN
    Mousavi and Rafsanjani together for Friday prayer
    Opposition leaders meet for the first time since last month’s elections which ended in demonstrations and violent repression. The mosque of Tehran University could become the scene of clashes and provocation.

    20/07/2009 IRAN
    Iran’s power struggle: Ahmadinejad’s vice-presidential nominee resigns after three days
    Hardliners reject Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie’s appointment. Named on Thursday he calls it quits on Sunday. Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation also loses its chief, no explanation given; whilst the army’s political ideology section gets a new head.

    03/08/2009 IRAN
    Tehran: Ayatollah Khamenei endorses Ahmadinejad’s election
    Iran’s president will be sworn in on 5 August. Main opposition leaders were absent from ceremony, including former President Rafsanjani and defeated candidate Mousavi. Ahmadinejad must still assemble his cabinet and get parliament’s approval.



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