Opponents highlight Ahmadinejad eccentricity in run-up to election

June 8, 2009 15:30


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A 2005 claim by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a "light" surrounded him during a UN address was mocked Monday by his main pro-reform opponents in the latest barrage against the president's competence and another sign of the bitter tone dominating the election campaign in its final days. Ahmadinejad and his main challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, have traded recriminations and engaged in mudslinging that has broken political taboos in Iran, reflecting the huge stakes in Friday's vote. Reformists - sensing that Ahmadinejad's once-formidable lead has evaporated - have increased their attacks seeking to portray him has erratic and eccentric. Ahmadinejad has struck back with accusations that Mousavi, who served as prime minister in the 1980s, is part of a clique of corrupt leaders who put their own interests ahead of the country. The current reformist salvo is a video clip sent by e-mail and on CDs of Ahmadinejad telling a top cleric, Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi Amoli, that a "light" enveloped him during his address to the UN General Assembly in 2005 and that the crowd stared without blinking during the entire speech.

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