Ahmadinejad reaches out to hardline rivals

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls on newly elected parliament to stand with him against “evil ones” encircling Iran.

Iran's parliament has no direct control over key security policy matters such as its nuclear programme [Al Jazeera]

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has urged the country’s new parliament to stand with him against “evil ones” who he says have encircled the nation.

The president’s address to the opening session of the parliament on Sunday was seen as an appeal to conservative opponents who crushed Ahmadinejad’s allies in voting that ended earlier this month.

“Today, evils have been mobilized from all directions to put the Iranian nation under pressure. Removing and resisting the pressures, and cooperation, are the main priority today,” Ahmadinejad told lawmakers without elaboration. State TV broadcast the speech live.

Iran faces sanctions from Western nations who accuse it of trying to developing nuclear weapons programme.Iran denies the charges.

Long-stalled negotiations between Tehran and six world powers on Iran’s nuclear program have recently revived, with the countries agreeing to talks in Moscow in June after earlier discussions last week in Baghdad.

Ahmadinejad and the conservatives share similar views on foreign policy, but disagree on economic issues.

The president lost their support when he was perceived to challenge the supremacy of the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last year.

Ahmadinejad also asked legislators not to intervene in his areas of authority.

“Any effort to intervene in other’s affairs will not serve the country,” said Ahmadinejad.


However, Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from Tehran, said that Iran’s power structure is not based on party politics.


“In recent elections it was framed by many in the media that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had lost his power base, his grip here in the majlis [parliament], with most of the votes going towards Iran’s supreme leader,” said Khan.

“However, it’s not as easy as that. Iran is not a place of political parties – it’s individuals representing constituencies. and they’ll be looking to make the best deals for them.”

Over the past months, both the president and the parliament have blamed each other for exceeding their respective mandates.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies