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Iranian Journalist Challenges Supreme Leader

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (file photo) (MNA) April 13, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Prominent Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi has challenged Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in an open letter in which he questioned why criticism of the supreme leader's actions and decisions is banned in Iran.

Zeidabadi also asked Khamenei why Iranians should share his view on the nuclear issue.

The journalist also expressed regret that those who favor flexibility on that issue are portrayed as "enemies" of the Islamic establishment.

Zeidabadi argues that due to the importance and sensitivity of the issue, the establishment should allow differing views to be expressed freely.

In recent weeks, a number of activists have called on Iran to suspend its sensitive nuclear activities and return to the negotiating table.

Zeidabadi says many Iranians are concerned about the nuclear issue and the future of their country.

Zeidababi has been jailed several times in Iran because of his critical articles. Charges against him have included acting against Iran's national security and insulting Iran's leaders.

Under Iran's constitution, the supreme leader is the highest political and religious authority in the country.


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THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


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