Ahmadinejad attends cabinet after boycott rumors

By REUTERS
May 1, 2011 16:53

 
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TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended his first cabinet meeting for more than a week on Sunday, dismissing rumors of a damaging split with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, news agencies reported.

Ahmadinejad's close relationship with Khamenei -- the senior cleric who has the last word in the Islamic Republic's affairs -- was strained two weeks ago, according to some analysts, over the president's attempt to sack his intelligence minister, a move vetoed by the supreme leader.

Since then Ahmadinejad has missed two cabinet meetings -- something some foreign analysts said was akin to a boycott.

Speculation began to circulate that Ahmadinejad no longer enjoyed the unqualified support of Khamenei, something the government denied. Khamenei had endorsed his re-election in June 2009 in a vote the opposition said was rigged.

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