Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is denying he has any rift with
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, days after their public dispute
over the dismissal of the vice president.
In a speech Friday, Mr. Ahmadinejad likened their relationship to the ties between father and son.
protesters continuing to question the legitimacy of Mr. Ahmadinejad's
re-election, the conservative president has also faced criticism from
his hard-line supporters.
Those critics cast doubt on his
loyalty to the supreme leader after Khamenei ordered the dismissal of
the first vice president, but Mr. Ahmadinejad delayed carrying out the
The vice president provoked controversy last year for
saying Iran was a friend of the Israeli people. After Mr. Ahmadinejad
dismissed him from the vice presidency, he appointed him as the
president's chief of staff.
On Thursday, thousands of protesters defied government orders to publicly mourn those killed in post-election violence.
used batons and tear gas to disperse at least 2,000 people near the
Grand Mosalla, an open-air prayer venue in central Tehran.
Ahmadinejad's political opponents and some of his conservative
supporters have denounced the treatment of jailed protesters, several
of whom have died in custody.
On Thursday, the reformist
former president Mohammad Khatami denounced the treatment, saying
crimes had been committed against those in detention.
been little information about the hundreds of people believed to have
been rounded up by Iranian security forces from protest rallies. Media
reports quoting released prisoners say guards have beaten some
detainees to death, torn off the fingernails of others and held many in
Thursday's demonstrations marked the 40th day
since the death of a young Iranian woman named Neda Agha-Soltan. Her
name has become a rallying cry for reformist demonstrators since a
graphic video posted on the Internet showed her dying after she was
shot during a post-election protest in Tehran on June 20.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.