Ahmadinejad denies rift with Khamenei


"In the recent days some with naive thoughts tried to portray that the relation between government and the dear leader of the revolution has been tarnished... to allude a rift between the government and the leader," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

"But they do not know that the kind of relation between the supreme leader and me goes beyond political and administrative forms. It is made of love, belief and is like father and son," he added.

Iranian hardliners warned Ahmadinejad yesterday to obey Khamenei, piling further pressure on the embattled president following his disputed re-election and a series of controversial political decisions.

Ahmadinejad's post-election troubles stem from his choice of a controversial aide Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie as his first deputy and his tardiness in then terminating the appointment after being ordered to do so by Khamenei.

He also sacked Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie reportedly after a quarrel over the delay in dismissing Rahim Mashaie as first vice president, further irking the powerful conservative wing

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