Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will pay a one-day visit to Turkey on Monday. Ahmadinejad will participate in the UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries taking place in Istanbul.
Ahmadinejad’s departure from Tehran comes amid conflict between the supreme leader and the president on a host of domestic political issues including Ahmadinejad’s refusal to reinstate his intelligence minister as ordered by Khamenei. There are also increasing pressures on Ahmadinejad to cut ties with his political confident and advisor Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie who still serves as Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff despite direct interventions by Khamenei to have him removed from the post. Mashaie is seen by Khamenei and the clerical establishment as the main force behind the firing of the intelligence minister and Ahmadinejad’s increasingly antagonistic relations with them.