NewsSpecial WireIran’s President to meet ultra-conservative mentor

Iran’s President to meet ultra-conservative mentor

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Sep. 25 – Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is set to meet his ultra-conservative ideological mentor on Wednesday, according to sources close to the president’s office. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Sep. 25 – Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is set to meet his ultra-conservative ideological mentor on Wednesday, according to sources close to the president’s office.

In his second trip next week to the Shiite holy city of Qom, south of the Iranian capital, since he took office, Ahmadinejad will meet the controversial cleric Ayatollah Mohammad-Taghi Mesbah Yazdi.

Mesbah Yazdi, an extremist even by the standards of Iran’s ayatollahs, is notorious for regularly advocating the use of suicide operations to fight “the enemies of Islam”.

In July, Iran Focus revealed for the first time that the radical cleric’s weekly paper Parto-Sokhan was running weekly advertisements with an application form to enlist suicide volunteers against the America forces in Iraq and “Jews in occupied Palestine”.

After the terrible tsunami in Asia last December, the journal wrote that the disaster “was very likely the expression of God’s wrath, because the beaches that have been devastated had become centres of corruption and prostitution and the tsunami killed more than 7,000 sex tourists from the West”.

The radical Islamist cleric holds unusual sway over Iran’s President and the direction of the hard-line government that was installed last month, according to informed sources in the Iranian capital.

Ahmadinejad, himself a former senior Revolutionary Guards commander, owed in great part his victory in the June presidential elections to hard-liners such as Mesbah Yazdi who mobilised hard-line Islamists to ensure he came out as the winner. After the contest, Ahmadinejad travelled to Qom to personally thank the ayatollah for his support.

The Iranian President’s meeting next week with the senior cleric will take place as Ahmadinejad’s travels to Qom where he will address a congress of student clerics.

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