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How Khamenei played his ace to sideline Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared to be on the verge of disobeying Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei until the ayatollah went public with his disapproval.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meets with Iraq's Vice President Khudair al-Khuzaie (not seen) during his visit in Baghdad July 18, 2013. REUTERS/Hadi Mizban/Pool (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT PROFILE) - RTX11QT4

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad finally got the opportunity to meet with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Aug. 30. In the 40-minute meeting, Ahmadinejad reportedly sought to obtain Khamenei’s view on his pursuing a possible bid for the presidency in the May 2017 elections.

The media reported Ahmadinejad saying, “The weak actions of the [incumbent] government have left people devastated, and they ask me to enter the election.” The supreme leader is said to have replied, “Your [provincial] trips shouldn’t look electoral, because you are not supposed to take part in the competition.” Khamenei continued, “Your presence in the election will polarize it, and this is not in the interest of the revolution and the people, and you should resist these demands [of people].”

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