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Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Calls For Arbitration Between Larijani And Ahmadinejad

Former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (C) and Conservative cleric Mohammad Emami Kashani (R) undated.
Former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (C) and Conservative cleric Mohammad Emami Kashani (R) undated.

Tehran's Friday Prayer leader has called on the Iran's authorities to avoid airing their dirty laundry in public.

Speaking at Friday Prayer ceremony on December 22, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani cautioned, “The problems [between the country’s leading figures] should not be publicly tabled. Some elders should be selected to weigh your words against the other’s side and address the problem.”

Kashani was referring to the recent heated argument between former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and the head of judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani.

The two sides have repeatedly charged each other with a barrage of different accusations.

Larijani, according to Ahmadinejad, is a “greedy, land-grabbing tyrant” and a totally “unjust” figure who should immediately resign as chief-justice, otherwise the whole ruling system would collapse.

Meanwhile, Larijani has accused Ahmadinejad of high treason and one who has already been convicted of financial corruption.

Ahmadinejad had threatened on December 17 that if within 48 hours the judiciary did not produce the evidence behind the charges brought against him and his inner circle he would expose the “illegalities” of the judicial branch.

Larijani, apparently ignoring the ultimatum, ordered his staff to publish details about the legal cases filed against Ahmadinejad.

But by the deadline, all Ahmadinejad had done was repeat general accusations against Larijani, calling him a usurper who has repeatedly violated the law.

Both failed to present solid evidence against the other and their personal hostility has been limited to exchanging verbal accusations.

Calling the two sides to seek a compromise, Kashani said, “[While the dispute is going on] many unfounded claims might be presented and tenfold enlarged by the media, which leads to public disturbance and disappointing the authorities."

Kashani was the first prominent figure in Iran to publicly acknowledge the row between Ahmadinejad and Larijani.

Meanwhile, the judiciary announced that it has sentenced another close ally of the former president, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, to six months in prison.

Earlier, Ahmadinejad’s deputy for executive affairs, Hamid Baghaei, had claimed that he was sentenced to 63 years for referring to Larijani's 63 different bank accounts.

In a note published by pro-Ahmadinejad website Dolat-e Bahar, Javanfekr wrote on Decemebr 21, “If the head of the judiciary insists on staying in power, no option will be left other than asking Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to dismiss him for the sake of recovering the judiciary’s tainted reputation.”

Khamenei has the sole authority to appoint or dismiss the head of the judiciary.

So far, though, he has done his best to distance himself from the ongoing war of words between Larijani and Ahmadinejad, who is one of his personal representatives on the influential Expediency Discernment Council.