Smackdown

Iranian Ex-Pres Slams Ayatollah

A mere three days before Iran's hotly-contested presidential election, one of the country's most powerful clerics wrote a rare open letter to the Ayatollah slamming him for failing to rebuke President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. According to the Washington Post, cleric and former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's letter to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei came a week after Ahmadinejad called Rafsanjani "corrupt" during a debate with challenger and former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi. In the letter, Rafsanjani complained that Iran's supreme leader had kept his lips zipped in the face of Ahmadinejad's "insults, lies, and false allegations." Though Ayatollah Khamenei has final say over state policy, Rafsanjani is head of the Assembly of Experts, a clerical council which can depose the Ayatollah if he's unable or unqualified to do his job.