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Ahmadinejad Writes To Rouhani Asking Iran Take Measures To Prevent War

In a letter written last week and published by Fararu website Wednesday [January 6] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has asked President Hassan Rouhani “to prevent” an impending war in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. The former president, who held office from 2005 to 2013, cited “a series of developments, posturing and news in various world media” that suggested a region-wide war was “planned” and on track to break out “soon.”

The Persian Gulf has seen successive United States military deployments with the dying days of the presidency of Donald Trump, including flights of B52 bombers, the withdrawal and return of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, and troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan leaving just 2,500 in each country. January 3 also saw protests and calls for revenge in Iran and Iraq marking the first anniversary of the US killing Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad alongside four other Iranians and five Iraqis. Since the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November, Iranian leaders have suggested Israel has worked to spark a US attack on Iran. 

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz on Sunday dismissed as "nonsense" an allegation by the Iranian foreign minsiter Mohammad Javad Zarif that Israel was trying to trick the United States into waging war on Iran. It was Israel that needed to be on alert for possible Iranian strikes, he said.

Ahmadinejad has struggled to find a political role since his stormy two terms as president ended in 2013, and was barred from the 2017 election by the watchdog Guardian Council. His letter to Rouhani takes up fears that the Trump administration poses a threat in its final days. “It is obvious that any war is solely the wish of the enemies of nations and serves their own interests and will definitely harm the interests of peoples and countries in the region,” Ahmadinejad wrote. He argues that officials should take urgent measures to prevent war: “I expect you, as President of the Islamic Republic, to use all your efforts in this regard.”

Final say on Iran’s foreign and military policy rests with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rather than with Rouhani, but Ahmadinejad’s relationship with Khamenei has never recovered from public disagreements that marred his second term in office.

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