Tags: n cleric ahmadinejad

Iran Cleric: Leaders Must Take US Sanctions Seriously

Wednesday, 15 Sep 2010 10:01 AM

TEHRAN, IRAN - An influential former Iranian president on Tuesday criticized the government in unusually blunt terms, saying that it is not taking U.S.-led sanctions seriously enough and that Iran could become a "dictatorship," The Washington Post reports.

The remarks by Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani represent a rebuke of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, though Rafsanjani did not mention him by name. Rafsanjani was also quoted by the semi-official Iranian Labor News Agency as indirectly saying that the government is not adhering to the Islamic Republic's laws.

Ahmadinejad and his supporters have been under increasing pressure from multiple power centers in Iran.

A series of public disagreements between Ahmadinejad's government and the parliament, influential clerics and even some of the president's own ministers have led to a crisis atmosphere, which has heightened political tensions in the country.

The government has said the sanctions stemming from Iran's controversial nuclear program have strengthened the Islamic Republic. Ahmadinejad has called them "pathetic" and less effective than "a used handkerchief." But business owners complain that the prices of raw materials are skyrocketing because of shortages.

"We have never been faced with so many sanctions," Rafsanjani said at a meeting of an influential clerical council. "I would like to ask you and all the country's officials to take the sanctions seriously and not as a joke."

Rafsanjani and Ahmadinejad have long been rivals, and Rafsanjani was considered a behind-the-scenes force in the Green Movement that challenged the government after last year's disputed elections. His words could be an opening shot that allows lower-level politicians to increase pressure on the president.

Read the entire story at washingtonpost.com

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MiddleEast
TEHRAN, IRAN - An influential former Iranian president on Tuesday criticized the government in unusually blunt terms, saying that it is not taking U.S.-led sanctions seriously enough and that Iran could become a "dictatorship," The Washington Post reports.
n cleric ahmadinejad
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2010-01-15
Wednesday, 15 Sep 2010 10:01 AM
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