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Iraqi Ayatollahs Refuse to Meet Mahmoud Ahmadienjad in Najaf

Muslim Ayatollahs Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

According to local media reports, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has failed to meet a number of Shia religious leaders in the holy city of Najaf. During his two-day trip to Iraq, none of Ayatollahs accepted to host Ahmadinejad at seminaries.

In recent months, Ahmadinejad’s activities were not well-received by local Ayatollahs based in Qom. Hossein Ali Karbasi Moghaddam, an Iranian scholar and analyst, says Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was unsuccessful in attracting the attention and trust of religious leaders because of his ‘unlawful’ actions.

“Over the last few years, Ahmadinejad was always trying to misuse the power of religion in the hope of establishing a positive character for him. Esfandiar Raheem Mashaei, the first deputy of Ahmadinejad, was also criticized for similar claims.” Karbasi Moghaddam told the Herald Boy on Saturday.

Ayatollah Sistani, Bashir Najafi, Eshaq Fayyaz and Mohammad Saeed Hakim are among top religious leaders of Shia community in Iraq. Visiting Ayatollahs and discussing political subjects with them is an old tradition of Iranian and Muslim politicians.

“It has been announced that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad didn’t have any plans to meet Ayatollahs in Najaf. But I believe that this is not the true and real story. Ayatollahs have earlier censured the policies of Ahmadinejad for religious matters. So they prefer to not meet Ahmadinejad in order to express their unhappiness and furiousness.” Hossein Ali Karbasi Moghaddam concluded.

Yesterday Ahmadinejad paid visits to Imam Ali shrine in Najaf and shrine of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, in Karbala.

In a visit to group of Ayatollahs in Qom after returning from his 2005 speech to the UN General Assembly, Ahmadinejad stated he had “felt a halo over his head” during his speech.

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