Ahmadinejad aide convicted over slur on Iran leader

By REUTERS
January 15, 2012 16:22

 
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TEHRAN - A close aide to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been given a one-year jail sentence for insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a hardline website said on Sunday, the latest sign of a deepening rift within Iran's leadership.

Ali Akbar Javanfekr is one of several high-level aides to Ahmadinejad targeted by hardline rivals who accuse the president of being in the grip of a "deviant current" of advisers seeking to undermine the role of clergy in the Islamic establishment.

The high-level feuding coincides with increasing international pressure on Iran over its disputed nuclear program and preparations for a March 2 parliamentary election that, in the absence of a viable opposition, will largely be a contest between hardline conservative factions.

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