Conservative MP: Principalists should admit they were wrong to support Ahmadinejad

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Ahmad Karimi Isfahani, a member of the Front for the Disciples of the Imam and Leadership, and an influential figure amongst the bazaar guilds, has told Nameh News that Principalists should “admit” that supporting President Ahmadinejad was a “mistake.”

Karimi Isfahani made numerous noteworthy points that might be thought representative of a considerable swathe of opinion amongst Principalist politicians:

“When Ahmadinejad says he is not a Principalist it is correct, and also truthfully Principalists have thought correctly and his actions of the last 7 years show that he cannot be a reforming candidate for the presidency.”

“In 2005 after the election was brought to a second round and two people had to be chosen from [i.e., Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad]. At that time the Principalist by necessity settled on Ahmadinejad, not as an acceptable individual or one affiliated with the Principalists. Though some had reached the opinion that they would support him against the Reformists.”

Karimi Isfahani’s next comment is particularly interesting insofar as he reckons it to be Ahmadinejad’s lack of respect for the clergy which reveals the extent of his lack of Principalist credentials.

“Being a Principalist depends on passing through special phases and observing a determinate principle. Ahmadinejad’s action in confrontation with the clergy and Grand Ayatollahs alone shows that he is not  a Principalist. His disrespect toward the clergy and the dissatisfaction of the Grand Ayatollahs from his first term resulted in some Grand Ayatollahs not permitting him to enter their quarters. This all shows Ahmadinejad is not affiliated with the Principalists.”

“Some of the main body of Principalists supported Ahmadinejad’s slogans and today must clearly accept that the introduction of Ahmadinejad as a Principalist and the candidate of the Principalists was mistaken. We were not in agreement with his candidacy during the first term and not the second.”

“The facilities that are today in the control of followers of Ahmadinejad, in particular the deviant current, is very dangerous. Money can have an effect on society and even this worry exists that this current never use this money they have gathered together to attract some votes toward themselves. In any case power and money is in the hands of a group who want to rival the Principalists.”

Finally, Karimi Isfahani stated clearly and without ambiguity, “until the time that the view of the president has the Leader’s approval and legitimacy bestowed upon it, it is nothing.”

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