An Iranian government spokesman who was quoted as saying outgoing President Mahmud Ahmadinejad would return with a Shi'ite saint has said his comments were distorted.
President Mahmud Ahmadinejad
Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted by Iranian media on June 24 as saying that Ahmadinejad will return with the Hidden Imam who, according to Shi'ite beliefs, went into hiding in the 10th century and will return one day to bring justice to the Earth.
The comments sparked criticism and condemnation by some lawmakers.
A June 25 statement issued by Elham's office said the government spokesman had meant the return of Ahmadinejad to political life.
The statement also said that the time for the reappearance of the Hidden Imam cannot be predicted.
Ahmadinejad and his close aides have come under criticism over their repeated references to the Hidden Imam.
Based on reporting by dolat.ir and Mehr
Copyright (c) 2013 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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