Ex-President Leads Charge Against Ahmadinejad

Rafsanjani behind scenes in Iran election
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2009 10:19 AM CDT
In this 2005 photo, former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, left, watches Mahmoud Ahmadinejad take the oath of office.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s chief adversary in his reelection bid isn’t the candidate he’s trying to beat, it’s the candidate he beat 4 years ago, the New York Times reports. Ex-president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has been leading a massive behind-the-scenes effort on behalf of Ahmadinejad’s opponents in tomorrow’s election, taking the extraordinary step of writing an open letter imploring Iran’s top ayatollah to rein Ahmadinejad in.

Rafsanjani accused Ahmadinejad of “insults, lies and false allegations,” many against figures close to revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini, and in turn against Iran’s entire theocratic system. But Ahmadinejad happily re-distributed the letter, eager to keep the spotlight on Rafsanjani, who has a reputation as corrupt. Ahmadinejad is eager to link his current opponents to him, calling Rafsanjani “the main puppet master.”