'Khamenei Tells Ahmadinejad: Reinstate Intelligence Chief or Resign'

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all state affairs, issues ultimatum after vetoing President Ahmadinejad's decision last month to dismiss Heydar Moslehi; according to website Ayandeh the president is yet to respond.

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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad an ultimatum over the reinstatement of the country's intelligence chief, a local website reported Friday.

Khamenei, who, according to the constitution, has the final say on all state affairs, vetoed Ahmadinejad's decision last month to dismiss Heydar Moslehi.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a live television program in Tehran, March 21, 2011.Credit: Reuters

The website Ayandeh quoted presidential advisor, Morteza Aqa-Tehrani, saying that in a meeting this week between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, the ayatollah has pushed the president to either accept Moslehi or resign.

Ahmadinejad has not yet responded with a final decision on the supreme leader's ultimatum, Agha-Tehrani added.

The Ayandeh report is yet to be confirmed by official or local media.

Khamenei firmly supported Ahmadinejad following his 2009 re-election, a vote that was overshadowed by allegations of election fraud.

Local media has speculated that the dispute between the supreme leader and the president runs deeper than the disagreement over the dismissal of the intelligence chief.

Some have speculated that the main issue that president and religious leader have butted heads about is Ahmadinejad's chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei.

Mashaei is said to oppose the clergy-dominated framework of the Islamic republic's establishment, preferring a more nationalistic approach in running the country.

Ahmadinejad has thrown firm support behind Mashaei, causing clergy circles to accuse the president of trying to undermine the Islamic character and principles of the country's ruling system.



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