Iran's firebrand president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suffered a serious political humiliation yesterday when the nation's supreme leader sided with his opponents to force him to supply a billion dollars worth of natural gas to remote villages suffering power cuts. Iran's poorest communities are enduring one of the harshest winters in years, reports the Guardian.
Ahmadinejad came to power on a platform of economic justice and enjoyed a close alliance with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but that key relationship now appears fractured. Just days ago, Khamenei had only faint praise for a government he once vociferously supported. "The government has certain unique characteristics, but like any other government there are mistakes and shortcomings," he said.