Iran's president attacked for economy

A top conservative cleric close to Iran's supreme leader has criticized President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his economic policies, Iranian newspapers reported Sunday. Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri said that the president's mismanagement of the economy is preventing Iran from achieving its goal of becoming a regional superpower by 2025. Nouri's comments Sunday come just a week after Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei strongly backed Ahmadinejad, praising him for "standing up" to the West and urging him to plan for a second four-year term. Under its 20-year plan, Iran aims to become an economic powerhouse in western Asia and a regional superpower by 2025.