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Khamenei snubs Iranian president

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7201213.stm Monday, 21 January 2008, 18:43 GMT Khamenei snubs Iranian president Iran s supreme leader has overruled its
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 21, 2008
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      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7201213.stm

      Monday, 21 January 2008, 18:43 GMT
      Khamenei snubs Iranian president

      Iran's supreme leader has overruled its president by
      ordering him to implement a law to supply gas to
      remote villages.

      Iran is having its coldest weather in years and
      parliament had ratified a law to release extra funds
      to supply gas to rural areas undergoing shortages.

      But Mahmoud Ahmadinejad refused to implement it,
      prompting the speaker to appeal to the supreme leader.

      A BBC correspondent says Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's
      action is a rare public humiliation for President
      Ahmadinejad.

      Jon Leyne in Tehran says President Ahmadinejad has
      come in for growing criticism over his handling of the
      crisis.

      The main problem has been shortage of gas, which has
      led to gas pressure being lowered, or supplies cut off
      altogether in some places.

      The supreme leader agreed that the law should be
      implemented and his letter ordering that it should was
      read out in the parliament.

      Threat of war

      About 64 people are reported to have died and tens of
      thousands have been stranded by severe blizzards.

      The temperature has fallen as low as -24C and for the
      first time in living memory there has been snow in the
      country's southern deserts.

      Critics of the president have become more vocal as the
      threat of war with the US or Israel over Iran's
      nuclear activities appears to have receded.

      The political battle is heating up with parliamentary
      elections in two months, our correspondent says.
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