Ahmadinejad to end boycott: state media

AFP , Sunday 1 May 2011

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will end his nine-day boycott of official activities and chair a cabinet meeting on Sunday

File photo of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arriving for meetings at the presidency office in Tehran, Iran (AP).

"The afternoon session of the cabinet will be convened and chaired by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,"  the official IRNA news agency quoted an unnamed informed source as saying.

Ahmadinejad, known for his near daily public appearances and speeches, has shunned cabinet meetings and withdrawn from public view since April 22, reportedly after a rift with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The confrontation came to light after Khamenei, who has the final say in all state affairs, rejected the dismissal of Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi.

Moslehi, considered close to ultra-conservatives in the regime and whose ministry has a key role in the vetting of electoral candidates, had been reportedly put under pressure by Ahmadinejad to resign.

The crisis came against the backdrop of a struggle between Ahmadinejad supporters and opponents for control of the intelligence network ahead of a parliamentary election in March 2012.

Despite pressure by conservatives on Ahmadinejad to return to work, he kept silent, boycotted several official meetings and even cancelled an official visit to the holy city of Qom.

Parliament on Thursday urged the president to recognise Khamenei's all-encompassing authority, and "put an end to that which our enemies are taking advantage of."

On Saturday Khamenei himself intervened and called on state officials, without directly naming the president or his opponents, to refrain from actions which would "create a tumult" for the Islamic regime.

The remarks were followed by an announcement by sources close to Ahmadinejad that he would resume his duties and offer "explanations" for his actions.

A delegation of conservative lawmakers who met Ahmadinejad for three hours on Saturday said the president had renewed his allegiance to Khamenei, Fars news agency reported on Sunday.

"My faith in Velayat-e Faqih is now stronger than before," conservative MP Mousa Ghazanfar-Abadi quoted the president as saying, according to Fars.

The doctrine of Velayat-e Faqih grants absolute authority over all matters to the supreme leader, who should remain above the political fray of daily politics.

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