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The Iranian Election Is Getting Interesting

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad isn't going quietly. From Thomas Erdbrink:

The [Iranian parliament] speaker, Ali Larijani, is a leading member of Iran’s most famous political family. He had been scheduled to speak at the golden-domed shrine of Fatima Masoumeh, the daughter of a Shiite saint, to commemorate the 34th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

The shrine is in the city of Qom, Mr. Larijani’s home district, where most of his political supporters among Iran’s traditional clergy hold offices.

But when he was preparing to deliver his speech, a group of around 100 protesters, described by the news agency as “Ahmadinejad fans,” started throwing shoes and small stones used by Shiite worshipers when they pray, actions that are regarded as gravely insulting. When the protesters pressed toward the stage, Mr. Larijani’s bodyguards took him away.

The episode occurred less than a week after a high-profile clash between Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Larijani in which the president released a video of what he said were secret business dealings involving Mr. Larijani’s younger brother Fazel.

Read Tom's entire story here, and also check out this Shaul Bakhash backgrounder on the Ahmadinejad camp's strategy in the upcoming June presidential election.

(AP Photo)