Ahmadinejad to publish his speeches, writings

Hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - known for his calls for Israel's destruction and his lectures to the American president to heed God's word - has appointed a council to compile and publish his speeches and writings. But the move has provoked derision from the growing ranks of his critics at home, who are dismissing the council as a propaganda machine that is wasting public money to promote Ahmadinejad ahead of Iran's next presidential election in 2009. "This council is nothing but an early election campaign using public money for the populist president," activist Saeed Shariati, who is a senior party official with Iran's largest reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, said Tuesday. The 15-member council - dubbed the Council of Policy-Making and Supervision over Publication of President's Works and Thoughts - is made up of Ahmadinejad's closest allies. It plans to publish several of his speeches and writings, newspapers here reported Tuesday.