Ahmadinejad isolated by battle with Iran’s supreme leader

Golnaz Esfandiari and Kourosh Rahimkhani write:

Speaking at the mausoleum of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Khomeini last week, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was interrupted several times by chants against his closest aide and the man he’d like to succeed him, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei.

It was déjà vu for the Iranian president, who had in the past waged similar attacks against his critics, haranguing them at public events. But now he, after a few months of bruising political battles that have damaged what remained of his credibility and popularity within Iran, had become the victim.

The incident gave the Iranian public yet another glimpse into a power struggle between Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei that has been unfolding over the past several months.

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