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Cleric Says Ahmadinejad 'Begging' To See Khamenei But Has Been Rebuffed

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gives an interview to The Associated Press at his office in Tehran, April 15, 2017. FILE PHOTO

A former advisor to Iran’s ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the Supreme Leader’s office has refused requests by Ahmadinejad to meet with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Abbas Amirifar a cleric who was Ahmadinejad’s cultural advisor in his second term told Sharq newspaper that “For three years Ahmadinejad knocks on every door and begs to get a chance to meet the Leader, but they do not give him an appointment.”

Although Ahmadinejad was a favorite of Khamenei who supported his controversial reelection in 2009, he had a fell out with the Supreme Leader over the issue of a ministerial appointment during his second term. After his presidency for a while he became a vociferous critic of the ruling system and once even went as far as sharply criticizing Khamenei for his governance.

In 2017, Ahmadinejad registered to run for president and the Guardian Council, loyal to Khamenei, refused to approve his candidacy. Now, there are speculations whether the enigmatic former president intends to run again in 2021 when current president Hassan Rouhani’s term ends.

Amirifar told Sharq that if Ahmadinejad registers again the Guardian Council will unanimously reject his candidacy. However, Ahmadinejad has managed to get many of his supporters elected to parliament. For now, they do not dare to oppose policies endorsed by Khamenei but their presence in the legislature gives the former president a degree of political cover.