A moderate think tank led by Iran's former top nuclear negotiator accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of distorting facts about the country's nuclear program to depict himself as a hero and improve his chances in the upcoming election.
It is rare for an Iranian think tank to criticize the president in such a direct manner, indicating the high stakes ahead of the June 12 election.
But the Center for Strategic Research, led by former nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani, said Ahmadinejad has attempted to downplay the role of his predecessors in developing Iran's nuclear program, which was started in the 1980s under former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, the president's leading election challenger.
It also accused Ahmadinejad of exaggerating his role in standing up to the West over a 2003 deal his reformist predecessor, Mohammad Khatami, reached with three European countries to temporarily suspend Iran's uranium enrichment program.
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