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Conservative Iranian Newspaper Criticizes Ahmadinejad

A conservative newspaper in Iran has issued a rare public critique of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, accusing him of behaving inappropriately by discrediting political rivals and private universities.

The Jomhuri Eslami editorial published Wednesday refers to Mr. Ahmadinejad's remarks last week to students on the subjects of Tehran's nuclear ambitions and education reform.

The editorial chastises the president for labeling Iranian officials who oppose Tehran's moves to acquire nuclear technology as traitors and spies. The editorial says the proper authorities should investigate such accusations and the judicial branch should hear such cases. It says no one should attempt to prejudge court rulings.

The Jomhuri Eslami editorial also criticizes Mr. Ahmadinejad for saying private universities waste public funds on irrelevant activities.

It says education reform should be handled calmly by the appropriate officials, not through what it called "sloganeering."

Direct personal attacks against the president are rare in Iranian media. The newspaper that published Wednesday's editorial is close to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.