After his own candidacy was rejected in the upcoming presidential elections set to take place on May 19, former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad angrily slammed the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, demanding to know why Khamenei should be the country’s leader. Many in Iran have expressed amazement that Ahmadinejad has not been arrested over the outburst since any criticism of the Supreme Leader, however mild, is strictly off-limits to the Iranian people.
In this official interview broadcast on state TV on Wednesday, April 19, Ahmadinejad can be seen angrily demanding of Khamenei: “Who said you should be the leader? Do people have to listen and obey so that you will be the head? You disagree with everything that would lead to growth and development for the people. I know about all these issues. I’ve talked with all of them [senior regime officials, including Khamenei]. They say when people’s expectations increase, then we won’t be able to rule.”
The firebrand former president continued his unprecedented outburst against the Supreme Leader, lambasting Khamenei and his inner circle of officials, saying, “Well the country has a population of 80 million, and among them are people who are stronger than you who’ll come and rule instead of you.”
Chuckling sarcastically, Ahmadinejad continued, “Who said that you must be the head at any cost? By every price, by squashing the people? This is not the logic of Islam, nor of the Islamic revolution or of our religious leaders. This is the logic of selfishness and this has no final outcome. I should tell you, if it has an end, your predecessors would remain as a ruling head.”