Mohammad Jafar Behdad, Deputy for Political Affairs at the Office of the President, told the weekly gathering of Tehran’s Voaz Valie on Wednesday that President Ahmadinejad has become the target of the extreme right. Behdad accused Ahmadinejad’s opponents of plotting to physically eliminate his inner circle advisors, such as his chief of staff Eskandar Rahim Mashaie. Behdad identified people associated with the influential conservative newspaper Kayhan as leading the campaign against Ahmadinejad and the elimination of his close advisors [Mashregh from ISNA, 23 January].
Reports on the tense relationship between Ahmadinejad’s inner circle and the fundamentalist groups have been circulating in Tehran for sometime. But this is the first time that a high-ranking official of Ahmadinejad’s office has accused the president’s fundamentalist opponents of plotting to physically eliminate his advisors, and Mashaie in particular.
To read Mashregh article in Farsi, click here.