Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) and his prayer leader Abbas Amirifar

Ahmadinejad's Exorcist Says Ex-President Aims At Comeback

Sunday, 04/07/2024

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's former exorcist tasked with protecting him from evil spirits reveals that the former president regularly holds secret meetings with his new team in preparation for the 2025 presidential election.

Abbas Amirifar, the cleric who severed ties with Ahmadinejad following the former President's rift with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in 2011, continues to uphold his connections to the ultraconservative Paydari Party, which some believe still has ties to the former president.

Amirifar told Khabar Online that Ahmadinejad hopes Khamenei will reinstate him to the presidential office in the event of a complete political impasse. He remarked that while former reformist President Mohammad Khatami engaged in some form of compromise with Khamenei during his presidency, Ahmadinejad betrayed Khamenei unfairly, despite Khamenei's strong support for him.

He further expressed his opinion that the only reason Ahmadinejad, a proud man, tolerates his position at the Expediency Council, where he is subordinate to his arch-enemy Sadeq Amoli Larijani, is because the role shields him from allegations of opposition to the regime.

Amirifar, now critical of Ahmadinejad, stated he no longer wishes to be associated with him. However, he acknowledged that he doesn't regret his collaboration with Ahmadinejad, whom he described as a modest and popular president during their time together.

Sadeq Amoli Larijani (right), Iran’s current chairman of Expediency Discernment Council and former chief Justice, and former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

He also criticized Sadeq Mahsouli, the leader of Paydari, for amassing wealth under dubious circumstances. Amirifar claimed that Mahsouli didn't even own a house when he started working with Ahmadinejad.

The Paydari Party increased the number of its parliamentary seats in the March 1 elections, after hardliners prevented hundreds of other candidates from running. The party is poised to control the new parliament that will convene in late May.

"When Ahmadinejad fell out with Khamenei over their choices for the Intelligence Minister, I privately warned the former President against opposing Khamenei's ideas. I told him: You cannot stand against Khamenei," Amirifar said.

He went on to explain that "Now, as far as the regime is concerned Ahmadinejad is finished. He has changed beyond recognition and supports dancers and homosexuals. The regime will no longer allow him to be in a position of power." Amirifar reiterated that many of those who used to work with Ahmadinejad are now working with President Raisi.

Many Iranians including some reformist figures such as Former President Khatami's Chief of Staff Mohammad Ali Abtahi also share that opinion. Abtahi has said in an interview with Rouydad24 that that the ultraconservatives who control parliament are the true examples of the radicals in Iran's conservative camp.

Simultaneously, he criticized the ultraconservatives in the government, asserting that they not only exacerbate the nation's hardships but also impose their hardline ideologies through government policies, such as restricting internet access, which he likened to poking the nation in the eye.

Abtahi emphasized that radicalism has its limits, and exceeding the pressures on Iranian society could provoke strong reactions. He highlighted that despite winning only 300,000 votes, some individuals now perceive themselves as representing Tehran's 10 million inhabitants, which could lead to backlash if they fail to grasp the people's demands, especially regarding the lifestyle of young Iranians. Nonetheless, most new lawmakers neither view themselves as representatives of the people nor are they recognized as such, potentially resulting in the populace disregarding any radical legislation they propose.

Echoing Amirifar's sentiments expressed in his interview with Khabar Online, Abtahi suggested that the regime's only escape from deadlock lies in altering its governing approach.

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