As Election Looms, Clerics Condemn Ahmadinejad

Rafsanjani Calls on Ayatollah Khamenei to Take Action Against President for "Fabrications"

With Iran’s presidential election just days away, several high profile clerics including former President Akbar Rafsanjani have loudly condemned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with an eye towards boosting the campaign of former Prime Minister Mousavi, who seeks to unseat him.

Rafsanjani in particular condemned the president for what he claimed were “misstatements and fabrications” made during last weeks debates. Rafsanjani even took the matter so far as to write a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei, the nation’s Supreme Leader, demanding that he take action against the president and warning that the supporters of the opposition candidates might take the law into their own hands if he did not.

Though there has been considerable support for the reformist candidate Mousavi, Ahmadinejad retains a loyal following, particularly among the nation’s poor. A recent opinion poll suggests that Ahmadinejad holds a significant lead, though a large number of voters remain undecided.

Mousavi’s campaign has primarily focused on reforms in civil society, and enabling the creation of more private media. Ahmadinejad has campaigned chiefly around his role in defending the nation’s civilian nuclear program from international condemnation, though it has been suggested he is dramatically over-stating the part he has played in it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.