Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants the public to write him letters – a boost, he thinks, to his populist image – but his security aides have advised the peripatetic leader the missives from the rank-and-file could contain deadly poisons, according to a report in the U.K.’s Guardian.
Adding to the miseries of more than 10 percent unemployment and 30 percent inflation, Iran has even been unable to boast of windfall oil prices. Indeed, criticism over his management of the country is on the rise – and is more and more coming from his usual conservative enthusiasts, according to Iran Focus.
When it comes to being mindful of a dangerous cadre of the disgruntled, his advisers are well grounded.
In Dec. of 2005, Ahmadinejad’s motorcade was ambushed while he was touring the poor and restive area of Sistan and Baluchestan. His driver and one of his bodyguards were killed and another wounded in the armed clash, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
Ahmadinejad shrugged off the incident as just another incident involving “bandits” and “trouble-makers.”
The leader, who typically is plunging into crowds or touring deprived neighborhoods in the wee hours has elected to pay little heed to the poison pen threat as well.
The distraught presidential security team still must contend with the bushel basketfuls of letters he is peppered with from voters during his forages across Iran.
“To prevent him getting poisoned, the security team has warned him in several cases to be careful about the letters which are given to him on his provincial trips,” reported Jahan News, a website close to the security services, according to the Guardian.
“But Dr. Ahmadinejad in response has declared he is going to behave as before,” revealed the website.
According to the Guardian, since being elected in 2005, Ahmadinejad has received millions of letters from his hard-pressed constituency. He has pledged to personally read as many as possible – while directing his aides to reply to each and every letter sent.
For sure, the weeks and months ahead are vital for Ahmadinejad if he wants to repair his political base and stifle critics, who have raised a hue and cry over his failed campaign promises -- including channeling Iran’s oil revenues to the poorer provinces.
Meanwhile, his guards have unleashed sniffer dogs to detect explosives – this in spite of Islam’s traditional distaste for canines.
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