The crisis between Ahmadinejad supporters and the regime leadership in Tehran is expanding by the day. The arrest of Ahmadinejad’s four close allies and his absence at a meeting that ayatollah Khamenei had with visiting Afghan President Karzai last week may be more signs of the return of the domestic crises and the concluding phase of the confrontation.
It is in this light that the recent comments of Mashhad’s Friday prayer leader, Ahmad Elm-alHoda should be viewed. In his public sermon, alHoda said that dealing with the “deviant movement” was guided by the leader of the Islamic republic.
In his talk, alHoda said that while the leader of the Islamic republic had in the past supported the deviant movement, he stressed, “The deviation caused the leader to directly intervene and challenge the management: his virtuous character calls him to warn whenever a deviation is observed.”
AlHoda’s comments come after another Friday prayer leader, Abdolnabi Namazi from Kashan made a similar comment when he said that the arrest of Esfandiar Rahim Mashai’s associates had been carried out on the direct orders of ayatollah Khamenei, an assertion that was disclaimed by the office of the supreme leader, which in turn seems to have displeased the Kashan Friday prayer leader.