June 4, 2009


Iran's supreme leader blasts Ahmadinejad for corruption claims: As election looms, president comes under fire after heated TV debate with rival (Robert Tait, 6/04/09, guardian.co.uk)

Apparently trailing in the opinion polls, Ahmadinejad attempted to link Mousavi – the main reformist candidate – to the past governments of Rafsanjani and the reformist ex-president Mohammad Khatam, which he said had been guilty of widespread graft. Among others, he singled out Rafsanjani's sons as well as Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri, the current head of the supreme leader's inspectorate.

Khamenei's criticisms echoed those of Mousavi, who told Ahmadinejad during the debate: "This is a sin. We are Muslims, we believe in God. We cannot name people like that and accuse them."

The most remarkable part of an acerbic encounter came when Ahmadinejad held up a file apparently referring to Mousavi's wife, Zahra Rahnavard, and questioned her qualifications. "Can I speak about the education background of a lady with you – shall I," Ahmadinejad said in a goading tone. He accused Rahnavard, who has been campaigning with her husband, of gaining two degrees illegally and starting a PhD without sitting an entrance exam.

He also said she had become a university lecturer and chancellor without the necessary qualifications.

Mousavi, taken aback, replied by telling viewers that they should vote for him "if you want to change this atmosphere of so easily accusing other people".

After the debate, pro-Mousavi students took to the streets of Tehran chanting: "Ahmadinejad, impolite person, shame on you. Leave this country alone."

They call us Satan and demand Death but he gets "impolite person"?

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 4, 2009 2:53 PM
blog comments powered by Disqus