Meanwhile In Iran

Ahmadinejad Defies Supreme Leader

Ahmadinejad is having a rare spat with his most powerful backer, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Los Angeles Times reports that Iran's president is refusing the Ayatollah's mandate that he dump his new vice president, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei. Mashaei earned the ire of hardliners last year when he insisted that Iranians had no quarrel with Israelis. Ahmadinejad has to watch out for more than Khamenei—the leader of a conservative group of scholars said his group would propose its own "desired Cabinet lineup" to the president. The dustup in Iran's upper echelons comes amid a weeks-long crackdown on supporters of opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi.