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Ahmadinejad Comes Under Attack for Comment On Iran – Israel War

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He is an attention seeker, always trying to grab attention, sometimes by making too much noise and at other times by keeping silent. Former populist Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is currently in the latter mode.

Even when he is silent, his political rivals want to make him say something, hoping that he might shoot himself in the foot by making an odd or controversial comment that would put an end to his turbulent political career.

Conservative journalist Afifeh Abedi in an April 17 tweet quoted Ahmadinejad as having said on social media that “Any country which illegally attacks another should be responded to. That is a right for the country whose territory has been violated.” This was clearly a reference to Iran’s April 13 massive missile and drone attack on Israel in response to an airstrike earlier in the month that destroyed a building within the compound of Tehran’s embassy in Damascus.

Abedi charged that “Ahmadinejad’s remark reflected his ambitions in Iran’s domestic politics rather than being aimed at foreign audiences.” Nonetheless, Abdi criticized Ahmadinejad for acknowledging that Israel is a state.

This is one of those controversial comments that everyone in Iran can interpret to serve their political interests. Some, like Ms. Abedi, might believe Ahmadinejad was referring to Iran’s unlawful attack on Israel, while others might take it as support for Iran after Israel attacked the Iranian Consulate in Damascus on April 1, and Iran’s attack was a retaliation for that.

Even Ahmadinejad’s former aide Abdolreza Davari was not quite clear about what Ahmadinejad meant. He asked in a tweet: “Did he condemn Iran or Israel?” On the other hand, conservative journalist Amir Seyediin said in a tweet that “No President anywhere in the world has served Israel’s interests the way Ahmadinejad has done.”

Some hardliner social media users lashed out at the former President for failing to condemn Israel for attacking Iran’s Consulate in Damascus in the first place and charged that Ahmadinejad had created big problems for Iranians for denying the holocaust during his presidency.

However, some foreign-based media quoted Ahmadinejad as having said in his Telegram channel that “attacking Israel was a right for Iran,” possibly to avoid Khamenei’s wrath.

In a tweet on April 16 reformist cleric Rahmatollah Bigdeli called for Ahmadinejad’s dismissal from the Expediency Council, a sort of higher parliamentary chamber with members appointed by the Supreme Leader, who intervene in Iran’s domestic political and economic issues where the parliament and the government cannot reach a final agreement on an issue.

Bigdeli wrote: “It is essential to remove Ahmadinejad from the Expediency Council as there is an open case against him at the court about oil swap with other countries,” that allegedly happened during his presidency. Bigdeli further questioned the way he was elected President in 2005 and 2009 and charged that his slogan about wiping Israel off the map created too many problems for Iran.

Bigdeli further charged that Ahmadinejad has not condemned the Israeli attack on the Iranian Consulate that killed seven top IRGC officers, and has refused to support Iran’s attack on Israel. “How can such a creature be a member of the Expediency Council?” Bigdeli asked. He also called on Judiciary Chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei to start Ahmadinejad’s trial as he has repeatedly promised in the past.

Many other Iranian politicians have been calling for Ahmadinejad’s trial and his removal from the Expediency Council after he openly criticized Khamenei in 2018. Nonetheless, he somehow managed to keep his seat at the influential council.

However, Twitter users posted a photo that showed Ahmadinejad at the Expediency Council meeting on April 17.