Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday, denied any rift with the country's supreme leader, who he said was like a father. Critics have cast doubt on Ahmadinejad's loyalty to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei because of a dispute over a controversial vice president Ahmadinejad appointed two weeks ago. Khamenei ordered the dismissal of the vice president, but Ahmadinejad stalled for days, trying to keep him. The president finally obeyed the dismissal order.
In a speech Friday in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Ahmadinejad stated "some in recent days have portrayed the relationship between the leader and the administration as in doubt, they tried to imply distance and rift." "What they do not understand is that the relationship between us and the supreme leader goes beyond politics and administration. It is based on kindness, on ideology, it is like that of a father and son," he said in the speech, cited by the AP.
According to him, the attempts by "ill-wishers" would yield no results.