Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday had held a meeting in Tehran with the members of the cabinet and their principle deputies. The content of his speech at the gathering has become a subject of dispute in the media and has raised tensions with the office of the supreme leader. The question is whether he implied that the country’s senior executives should ignore religious leaders, which presumably include Khamenei, and do what is best for the country.
The first reports of the speech carried by some of the newspapers on Thursday contained this passage: “You have to work for God; even if everyone or any religious guide disagrees with you, don’t pay any attention to them. God will take care of them and will sweep them into the dustbin of history.”
Today, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported that the passage quoted should have read: “We hesitate before we take any action, What would that person say? What would that religious guide say? God is not like us… God does not have these considerations… and will sweep anyone (not performing his duties) into the dustbin of history.”
The reference to ignoring a religious guide in performing one’s duties, however, still exists in the new interpretation offered by Fars, and is the heart of the newest controversy surrounding the president.