Top Iranian cleric slams Ahmadinejad

Former nuclear negotiator says Teheran's foreign policy harmed by president's "coarse slogans."

rowhani 224 88 (photo credit: AP)
rowhani 224 88
(photo credit: AP)
A prominent Iranian cleric voiced harsh criticism of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's frequent vitriolic diatribes against Israel, saying that his "coarse slogans" harmed Iranian national interests, AFP reported. According to the report, Hassan Rowhani, who was Iran's top nuclear negotiator until Ahmadinejad rose to power in 2005, said that the interests of the Islamic Republic would be better served by a show of flexibility and an openness to dialogue with the rest of the world. "Does foreign policy mean expressing coarse slogans and grandstanding?" Rowhani, one of the two representatives of the Ayatollah Khamenei on the Supreme National Security Council, reportedly asked in a speech at a foreign policy conference in Teheran. "This is not a foreign policy. We need to find an accommodating way to decrease the threats and assure the interests of the country." He warned that "if the international community thinks that a country wants to play troublemaker and eliminate others, it will not let the country do this and will confront it." Only last week, the Iranian president said: "The world powers established this filthy bacteria, the Zionist regime, which is lashing out at the nations in the region like a wild beast."