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In A 9,000-Word Letter Ahmadinejad Lambasts Outgoing Rouhani

In a 9,000-word letter to Iran's outgoing President Hassan Rouhani, former ultraconservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has harshly criticized Rouhani's performance and blamed him for bringing about what he calls "the decline of the Islamic Republic." He called for Rouhani as well as his Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli and Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh to be put on trial for their poor handling of the fuel price rise in November 2019 which led to nationwide protests and killing of hundreds of protesters by security forces.

Ahmadinejad’s decision to lambast Rouhani might be his revenge after the president did not show any sympathy toward him and his close aides when the Judiciary persecuted them in mid-2010s. On many occasions Rouhani badmouthed the former president and his record. It could also be an attempt by Ahmadinejad to gain the attention of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, since Rouhani appears to be fair game during his last days in office.

Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad said in the letter published on his website, that he had warned Rouhani to "respect the nation's will and bring back the country to its revolutionary track." 

He said that he had warned Rouhani on his first day in office that his presidency will pass quickly, and he would regret his inaction if he fails to serve the people every second of his term in office. Rouhani has served two consecutive terms since 2013.

"I told you that people voted for you only to prevent your rival's victory. But you can turn those votes into real votes by serving the nation," said Ahmadinejad, adding that "This was while you levelled wrong accusations and took unfair positions against me and my colleagues during your election campaign."

"I became Iran's President after a long executive career that I had started from the bottom of the ladder of executive management while you started your job as Iran's president without having any prior executive experience," Ahmadinejad reminded Rouhani.

Ahmadinejad then characterized Rouhani's understanding of the country's problems as "invalid" and called him a "simpleton" based on his "surprising decisions about the nuclear issue."

He accused Rouhani of failure despite unprecedented cooperation by everyone including Khamenei who allowed him for the first time to hold talks with Americans and let him circumvent the Majles and Judiciary by giving him extra authorities.

While this might be true about Rouhani’s first term, his second term was marred by incessant attacks by Khamenei’s hardliner supporters and the president’s repeated complaints that his powers are limited.

Ahmadinejad also accused Rouhani of hiding the details of the nuclear deal from the people, a wild accusation, while the former president also knows well that most of Iran's decisions in foreign policy are traditionally hidden from the public.

Ahmadinejad also charged that Rouhani's inaction led to a heavy economic recession in Iran "while you waited for a miracle to take place." On the other hand, pointing out that the average economic growth of Iran during the past eight years has been negative, Ahmadinejad accused Rouhani of "having ruined industries and production in Iran."

Delaying the progress of South Pars natural gas project, failing to boost Iran's power generation capacity, bringing about an eightfold loss of value for the national currency in the face of growing liquidity, widespread financial corruption and declining investment were some of the other charges Ahmadinejad made against Rouhani in this long letter. 

He also charged that the JCPOA, which Rouhani always mentions as his achievement, has not only failed to solve problems between Tehran and Washington, but it has made the situation more complicated. As a result of the JCPOA, Iran has made political commitments that work against the nation while it has restricted Iran's activities in other areas, such as buying and selling conventional weapons.

Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad condemned the Rouhani administration's support for the Taliban in Afghanistan and said that Rouhani's performance has badly damaged the status of the President of the Republic as the second most authoritative position in Iran's political structure.

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