Destructive gang

A dissident Iranian cleric said Friday he is confident of a resurgence of the protest movement in his country, calling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency the most „destructive“ in Iran’s history.

Hassan Yousefi Eshkevari, an outspoken middle-ranking cleric who was jailed for four years in Iran, told a conference of Iran scholars and experts in Berlin that Ahmadinejad’s administration has „crossed almost all political and religious lines.“

Eshkevari said through a translator there has never been a „similar gang that has been so destructive“ and that this Iranian regime is deeply at odds with Shia tradition, ultimately threatening to „destroy Islam, the government and the country.“

The cleric, who fled to seek political asylum in Germany two years ago, said he is confident that the protest movement that followed the disputed 2009 presidential election will eventually come back to the forefront again.

„I have no doubt that this movement will come back,“ he said. „In the future there will be a democratic development,“ he said, adding that he believes the majority of the country’s young population not only longs for change, but also has grown estranged from religion.

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