Signs of Turmoil in Iran: Ahmadinejad Turns Backers into Enemies
A silent “Arab Spring” is brewing in Iran, where Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come under public criticism not only in the parliament but also from a representative of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards, Ali Saeidi.
He told a reformist daily he does not understand what is going through the mind of Mr. Ahmadinejad. The interview was translated and published by the Al Monitor website. “Incidentally, I told Ahmadinejad his problem to his face. I told him you could have become an historic hero of the nation of Iran, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. It doesn’t get any worse than you turning all the people who were your supporters into your opponents,” Saedi said.
The political deputy of Ahmadinejad’s office, Mohammed Jafar Behdad, publicly criticized Saedi and charged, “The possession of the title ‘representative of the Guardian Jurist doesn’t become a license for the likes of Mr. Saedi to announce that Ahmadinejad doesn’t act in accordance with the acceptable standards and conditions of the regime.’”
Ahmadinejad is near the end of his second term after winning a disputed election that resulted in massive protests and a brutal suppression.
He also has been called on the carpet by the parliament for the dizzying decline in the rial currency and spiraling inflation in the wake of crippling Western sanctions.
“The problem here is that the presidents misapprehend their role and place for leadership of the regime,” according to Saedi. “We approved of Ahmadinejad while he acted in accordance with the accepted standards and conditions of the regime….
“I don’t know what this damnable thing [relations with the U.S.] is that the gentlemen want to put its medal around their necks. I now really don’t know what goes through the mind of Ahmadinejad that he puts forth the debate of relations with America.”
Al Monitor reported that a conservative website that is close to one of Ahmadinejad’s severest parliamentary critics stated that the president must “apologize” for the 250 % increase in food prices over the past seven years.
Ahmadinejad’s insistence to visit the Ervin prison, where his press adviser has been jailed, also has cost him harsh criticism.
His request was turned down in a confidential letter by the judiciary to Ahmadinejad, who not only published it but publicly said it does not grant its permission to visit the jail.