Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei and Ahmadinejad 311 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters)
A rift between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Khamenei appears to be deepening, Britain’s Guardian has
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Ahmadinejad hasn’t been seen in public and has refused to chair
several cabinet meetings since a key decision was overruled by the supreme
leader nearly two weeks ago, the paper said.
Earlier this month,
Ahmadinejad forced the resignation of Iranian Intelligence Minister Heydar
Moslehi only to see him reinstated by Khamenei. Iran’s supreme leader holds
nearly all-encompassing veto power over all decisions in the Islamic
Several days later, Khamenei made a public statement
reinforcing his supreme authority, stressing his constitutional right to veto
any and all decisions that affect national interests.
An Associated Press
report speculated that Khamenei is formulating a new political team absent of
Ahmadinejad loyalists to lead the Iranian government.
In addition to the
missed cabinet meetings, Ahmadinejad also reportedly cancelled a planned
official visit to the holy city of Qom, prompting conservative Iranian
politicians to accuse him of “sulking,” according to the Guardian
The Iranian supreme leader, also the top Shi’ite cleric in the
Islamic Republic, is reportedly concerned over the prospect of losing influence
in the two ministries he traditionally holds significant sway over – the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Intelligence Ministry, according to the UK
Late last year, Ahmadinejad fired his foreign minister while the
latter was in the middle of an official overseas trip. The move was widely
understood to be an attempt by the president to exert his influence over the
country’s foreign policy.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which is often
pointed to as one of the bastions of Ahmadinejad’s power base, has also
seemingly inserted itself into the rift between Iran’s two most powerful
According to the Guardian report, several prominent figures in
the Revolutionary Guard have approached the president and asked him to comply
Iran’s parliament is also reportedly involving itself.
Following calls by several MPs for Ahmadinejad to support the reinstatement of
the intelligence minister, a report that “the plan to impeach Ahmadinejad has
begun” surfaced on a website run by Iranian members of parliament, according to
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