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Row Between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad Continues

By Arash Bahmani, Rooz Online

More than ten days after the revelation of disagreements between ayatollah Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the row that was supposed to end with Ahmadinejad's return to office once again was the subject of controversy. Ahmadinejad's attendance at the cabinet meeting coincided with intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi's absence, reinforcing the rumors and doubts surrounding the controversy.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) and ayatollah Khamenei

The hardline Kayhan daily chose as its front-page headline, "President Returned to Presidency." The daily wrote, "The president, while deeply thanking the revered supreme leader's continuous support for the administration, affirmed the tenth administration's adherence to Velayat-e Faghih [rule of clerics], and regarded obedience to the supreme leader as guiding principle for all members of the cabinet and a foundational element of the administration's ideology and performance."

According to many Principalist media outlets, Ahmadinejad's return was the result of numerous behind-the-scenes meetings and negotiation sessions. The website belonging to the Islamic republic's official news channel, Shabakeh Khabar, reported that Ahmadinejad had met with Mr. Jannati and seyyed Ahmad Khatami, who were referred to as representatives of the supreme leader, at his Narmak residence, but had refused to meet with several lawmakers.

In recent days, Principalists have continued their attacks on Ahmadinejad's inner circle. Many of them have attacked the so-called "deviant current" inside the Ahmadinejad administration, calling on the president to purge undesirable elements from his inner circle.

In another development, lawmaker Ali Motahari, who is gathering signatures for a bill to summon Ahmadinejad to the parliament for questioning, has announced that sixty lawmakers have so far signed the bill.

Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad's attendance at the cabinet meeting coincided with the absence of the intelligence minister, Heidar Moslehi. According to the Fars news agency, Moslehi was meeting with a group of religious leaders in Qom to discuss recent events, especially the "Islamic awakening" in various Arab countries.

On the other hand, media outlets covered Ahmadinejad's remarks at yesterday's cabinet meeting. In the remarks, the transcript of which was provided to the media by the president's press office, Ahmadinejad said about the controversy surrounding the intelligence minister's dismissal and reinstatement, "There are some reasons for my several-day stay at home, which I will keep to myself, because some things must be kept to one's self."

Ahmadinejad's return to the president's office took place after the Islamic republic supreme leader, ayatollah Khamenei, asked the country's leaders not to publicize their disagreements four times in six speeches delivered throughout the week.

The Islamic republic supreme leader has also criticized the media for attempting to create divisions between him and Ahmadinejad.

... Payvand News - 05/03/11 ... --

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