Lawmaker: Khamenei nudged Iran assembly to back cabinet

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged the Iranian parliament behind the scenes to back President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's proposed cabinet, a prominent Iranian lawmaker said Friday. The lawmaker said Khamenei sent a private message to parliament members asking them to approve the Cabinet and support Ahmadinejad in the crisis following his disputed re-election. Such an intervention would reflect Khamenei's significant support for the embattled president. The parliament on Thursday approved 18 out of Ahmadinejad's 21 nominees for Cabinet. Lawmaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar said at least nine nominees would have been rejected if Khamenei hadn't intervened. Bahonar didn't say how he knew this. His remarks were carried on Friday by the semi-official Fars news agency.