Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

Iranian President Ahmadinejad denies rift with Supreme Leader and attacks conservatives

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian supporters of defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi chased by Iranian riot-police and militia forces during riots in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Iranian youth opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took to the streets Sunday, setting, trash dumpsters and tires on fire, in a second day of clashes triggered by voter fraud claims.(AP Photo)
Iranian students, supporters of defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi at the main entrance of Tehran university during riots in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Iranian youth opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took to the streets Sunday, setting trash dumpsters and tires on fire, in a second day of clashes triggered by voter fraud claims. (AP Photo)
** ALTERNATIVE CROP TO XHS138 **An Iranian supporter of defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi is beaten by government security members as female opposition supporter comes to his aid during riots in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Iranian youth opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad take to the streets Sunday, setting trash dumpsters and tires on fire, in a second day of clashes triggered by voter fraud claims.(AP Photo)
Iranian supporters of defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi are followed by Iranian riot-police in front of Tehran university during riots in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Iranian youth opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took to the streets Sunday, setting trash dumpsters and tires on fire, in a second day of clashes triggered by voter fraud claims. (AP Photo)
An Iranian protestor pours petrol on fire during protests against the declared results of the Iranian presidential election, at a street in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, June 13, 2009. Supporters of the main election challenger to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clashed with police and set up barricades of burning tires Saturday as authorities declared the hard-line president was re-elected in a landslide. (AP Photo)
Surrounded by his bodyguards and supporters Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,center, greets his supporters after casting his ballot for the presidential elections in Tehran, Iran, Friday June, 12, 2009. Iranians began voting Friday on whether to keep hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power for four more years or replace him with a reformist more open to loosening the country's Islamic restrictions and improving ties with the United States. (AP photo/Iranian students news agency, Arash Khamushi)
** ALTERNATE CROP ** Iranian supporter of defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi is beaten by government security members during riots in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Iranian youth opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad take to the streets Sunday, setting trash dumpsters and tires on fire, in a second day of clashes triggered by voter fraud claims. (AP Photo)
An Iranian man is detained by Iranian riot-police in front of Tehran university during riots in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Iranian youth opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took to the streets Sunday, setting trash dumpsters and tires on fire, in a second day of clashes triggered by voter fraud claims.( AP Photo)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attends a news conference as a sign in Persian is seen on top says: "long live my home land" in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Iranian youth opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took to the streets Sunday, setting trash dumpsters and tires on fire, in a second day of clashes triggered by voter fraud claims.(AP Photo/Kamran jebreili)
With the image of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in background, supporters of hard line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wave national flag as they attend a rally at Valiasr square in Tehran, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Protesters set fires and smashed store windows Sunday in a second day of violence as groups challenging President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election tried to keep pressure on authorities. Anti-riot police lashed back and the regime blocked Internet sites used to rally the pro-reform campaign. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
A supporter of Iranian reformist presidential candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, holds a piece of stone and with his covered his face with green scarf symbolizing his party's color as the others burn a trash bin in Tehran, Saturday, June 13, 2009. Supporters of the main election challenger to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad clashed with police and set up barricades of burning tires Saturday as authorities claimed the hard-line president was re-elected in a landslide. The rival candidate said the vote was tainted by widespread fraud and his followers responded with the most serious unrest in the capital in a decade. (AP Photo)
Tens of thousands of supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gather in Vali Asr square for a rally attended by the president, in Tehran, Iran Sunday, June 14, 2009. Protesters set fires and smashed store windows Sunday in a second day of violence as groups challenging President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election tried to keep pressure on authorities but Ahmadinejad dismissed the unrest, the worst in a decade in Tehran, as "not important." (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Tens of thousands of supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gather in Vali Asr square for a rally attended by the president, in Tehran, Iran Sunday, June 14, 2009. Protesters set fires and smashed store windows Sunday in a second day of violence as groups challenging President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election tried to keep pressure on authorities but Ahmadinejad dismissed the unrest, the worst in a decade in Tehran, as "not important." (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks to the media at the presidency in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 14, 2009. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
An emotional supporter shouts out as tens of thousands of supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gather in Vali Asr square for a rally attended by the president, in Tehran, Iran Sunday, June 14, 2009. Protesters set fires and smashed store windows Sunday in a second day of violence as groups challenging President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election tried to keep pressure on authorities but Ahmadinejad dismissed the unrest, the worst in a decade in Tehran, as "not important." (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Supporters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, waving Iranian flags, cheer him speaking at a rally in Vali Asr square in Tehran, Iran Sunday, June 14, 2009. Protesters set fires and smashed store windows Sunday in a second day of violence as groups challenging President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election tried to keep pressure on authorities but Ahmadinejad dismissed the unrest, the worst in a decade in Tehran, as "not important." (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Iranian women wait in line to cast their votes for the presidential election, inside the Ershad mosque in northeastern Tehran, Iran, Friday, June 12, 2009. Iranians packed polling stations from boutique-lined streets in north Tehran to conservative bastions in the countryside Friday, with a choice that's left the nation divided and on edge: keeping hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power or electing a reformist who favors greater freedoms and improved ties with the United States. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Motorcyclists pass a burnt out motorcycle sit alight during protest in Beheshti street, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Iranian youth opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad take to the streets Sunday, trash dumpsters and tires on fire, in a second day of clashes triggered by voter fraud claims.(AP photo/Vahid Salemi)
Iranian riot police men patrol in Vali-asr street in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 14, 2009. Iranian youths opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took to the streets Sunday, setting trash dumpsters and tires on fire, in a second day of clashes triggered by voter fraud claims.(AP photo/Vahid Salemi)
Supporters of leading reformist candidate in upcoming Iranian presidential elections, Mir Hossein Mousavi, unseen, leave teh sport hall after attended in his election campaign rally in Tehran Sunday May 31, 2009. Mousavi, is a former Prime Minister, and a main challenger of the hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for June 12 presidential elections.(AP photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)
A volunteer carries posters of reformist candidate Mir Hussein Mousavi, at one of his election offices in Tehran, Monday, June 8, 2009. Iran's presidential campaign, now in its final week, has reached a level of passion and acrimony no one remembers to have occured in Iranian history. Reformists, who seek an easing of social and political restrictions at home and better ties with the West, see a strong opportunity to unseat President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has become increasingly unpopular because of Iran's economic woes. Critics also say he has needlessly enflamed world anger at Iran with his statements calling U.N. resolutions "worthless papers" and casting doubt on the Holocaust.(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
Female supporters of the leading reformist Iranian presidential candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, hold green balloons, the symbolic color of Mousavi's campaign, in an electoral campaign gathering in downtown Tehran, Iran, Monday, June 8, 2009. Mousavi is leading reformist challenger to the hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the Iranian presidential race on June 12. (AP Photo / Vahid Salemi)

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad begins his second term next week, undermined by a deepening feud with his fellow hard-liners and under assault from a pro-reform opposition movement that has shown it can bring out thousands of protesters despite the fierce crackdown that began seven weeks ago.

Yesterday Mr Ahmadinejad sought shelter with his top supporter, declaring that Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was "like a father" to him. The President accused his hard-line rivals of trying to drive a wedge between him and the man who sits at the top of Iran's clerical leadership and who has final say in all state matters.

In a speech in the north-eastern city of Mashhad, Mr Ahmadinejad said: "Some in recent days have portrayed the relationship between the leader and the administration as in doubt, they tried to imply distance and rift.



"What they do not understand is that the relationship between us and the Supreme Leader goes beyond politics and administration. It is based on kindness, on ideology, it is like that of a father and son."



Any attempts by "ill-wishers" would yield no results, he added, saying: "This path with be shut in the face of devils."



On Monday, Mr Khamenei will lead a ceremony formally approving Mr Ahmadinejad's second term. During Friday prayers in Tehran yesterday, one ultra-conservative cleric bluntly told Mr Ahmadinejad to listen to hard-line lawmakers in the make-up of his new Cabinet. "Before naming individuals for ministries, the government and parliament must co-ordinate," said Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati.



Activists have called for protests during Wednesday's inauguration.

- Independent

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