Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Is AWOL From Job
He's in a power tiff with Iran's supreme leader
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2011 3:37 PM CDT
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a file photo from earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is waging a personal strike of sorts. He hasn't been in his office, on TV, or at a Cabinet meeting for more than a week, reports AFP. The reason is a tense feud with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—one that doesn't bode well for Ahmadinejad's political future, explains AP. The trouble began when Ahmadinejad pressured Iran's spy chief, Heidar Moslehi, into resigning on April 17. Hours later, Khamenei pulled rank and reinstated him.

More than 200 members of Iran's 300-seat parliament have signed a letter calling on Ahmadinejad to accept Moslehi's reinstatement and return to work. "You are expected to follow the supreme leader," they wrote. If he continues to refuse, it opens the possibility of impeachment, though AP thinks that's an unlikely outcome. Still, Ahmadinejad has two years left in his term as president, and they could be a long two years if he's lost the support of Khamenei.