Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has severely criticized Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei by comparing him to the former Shah of Iran, who was deposed in the country’s 1979 revolution.
“No one is more important than the people,” Ahmadinejad gushed in a recorded clip, part of which was broadcast on his Twitter account. “Positions of power in any government are not inherited by a special group. We did not rise in a revolution against a family to replace it with another family,” he stressed. The remarks were a clear reference to the domination of Ali Khamenei, his family and his entourage on Iranian governance.
Relations between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad soured in the run-up to presidential elections held over a month ago, when the Supreme Leader had asked Ahmedinejad to stand down in order to prevent “polarization” in the country. Later the Guardian Council, a panel of jurists following Khamenei’s diktats, disqualified the candidature of the former president and his close ally Hamid Baghaei on the pretext of their ineligibility to run in the presidential elections.
In his speech, whose full version the former president promised will be broadcast soon, warned of significant escalations facing the country in the times ahead.
In the wake of growing tensions with Ahmadinejad, judicial authorities under the influence of the Supreme Leader, had arrested and held the former president’s ally Hamid Baghei for several days before releasing him late last month.
They had also held Abdelraza Daouri, former media adviser to Ahmadinejad, because of “offensive” remarks found on his Facebook account by anonymous respondents. For this ‘crime’, Daouri was sentenced to three years' imprisonment.