Ahmadinejad turns criticism on gov't officials in rally speech

Iranian president says if reelected, he will repel all internal and external threats to the country with brute force.

ahmadinejad fist 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
ahmadinejad fist 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Addressing a public rally in Pakdasht, south of Teheran, on Monday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that if reelected, he will repel all internal and external threats to the country with brute force. "We are sorry that certain people inside the country have joined the Zionists in opposing us," Ahmadinejad said. "The Zionists are liars, killers of children and murderers." It was his duty to the Islamic government to "cut off the hands of those who want to jeopardize national progress," and to reveal the names of those involved during the upcoming presidential debates, he said. "I must disclose the performance of the three previous governments in political, cultural, social and foreign policy terms for the sake of national interest and rights of the people," he said. "Officials inside the country imposed heavier pressure on the government than the foreigners," he added, without naming names. He also reiterated that the upcoming televised debates, in which the presidential candidates face off in live broadcasts, would most likely be the moment he disclosed those names. Ahmadinejad's public remarks in the past few days have led to criticism that he has damaged not only the reputation of the Islamic republic's government, but the entire regime. Although Ahmadinejad has been issuing accusations of foul play for some time, Monday's rally could hurt his campaign if he continues to threaten certain members of the Islamic establishment. Media coverage outside of Iran has attempted to differentiate the hardliners and progressives by relying heavily on the "reformist" and "principlist" party paradigm, but Iran's Islamic polity is a single-party system that functions under the supreme leader. As such, Ahmadinejad is seen as creating a rift in the bonds that embody the principles of the regime and the revolution. In his speech, he went on to criticize a certain person close to senior officials for having put revenues from oil contracts into the pockets of members of his party (the reformists). "In a week, he set up a company without having any land, expertise or facilities and earned $300 million easily," Ahmadinejad said. Efforts should be made to prevent certain groups of people from plundering public funds or spending them against the interests of the nation, he said.