The presidential campaign, now in its final week, has reached a level of passion and acrimony almost unheard-of in Iran.
Many people say a critical moment was last Wednesday’s nationally televised debate, in which the president opened with a furious attack on Mr. Moussavi. Mr. Ahmadinejad seemed to spare no one, accusing his conservative and liberal opponents of being corrupt.
But the most shocking thrust, to some viewers, was when he held up a document with a small picture of Mr. Moussavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard, and asked him in a derisive tone, “Do you know this woman?” Mr. Ahmadinejad then accused Ms. Rahnavard — a respected professor of political science — of entering a graduate program without taking the entrance exam and other, lesser violations of university policy.
On Sunday, a visibly angry Ms. Rahnavard held a news conference in which she threatened to sue if Mr. Ahmadinejad did not apologize within 24 hours.
“The way the president insulted me was an insult to everyone,” Ms. Rahnavard saidhttp://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/world/middleeast/08iran.html?_r=1
===================Iran's 'Macaca' Moment? Ahmadinejad's Rivals Circulate Video Highlighting His Bizarre "Light" Claim
A 2005 claim by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a "light" surrounded him during a U.N. address was mocked Monday by his main pro-reform opponents in the latest barrage against the president's competence and another sign of the bitter tone dominating the election campaign in its final days.
Reformists _ sensing that Ahmadinejad's once-formidable lead has evaporated _ have increased their attacks seeking to portray him has erratic and eccentric. Ahmadinejad has struck back with accusations that Mousavi, who served as prime minister in the 1980s, is part of a clique of corrupt leaders who put their own interests ahead of the country.
The current reformist salvo is a video clip sent by e-mail and on CDs of Ahmadinejad telling a top cleric, Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi Amoli, that a "light" enveloped him during his address to the U.N. General Assembly in 2005 and that the crowd stared without blinking during the entire speech."A member of the (Iranian) delegation told me, 'I saw a light that surrounded you,'
" Ahmadinejad said. "I sensed it myself too ... I felt the atmosphere changed. All leaders in audience didn't blink for 27, 28 minutes. I'm not exaggerating when I'm saying they didn't blink. Everybody had been astonished ... they had opened their eyes and ears to see what is the message from the Islamic Republic."
The clip was released after Ahmadinejad on Saturday denied making the comment.
Mousavi's daily newspaper, Kalemeh Sabz, or Green Word, said in a front-page report that Amoli's office confirmed the video is authentic. The headline called it Ahmadinejad's "halo."
Mousavi accused Ahmadinejad of being "superstitious" and "brazenly staring at the camera and telling lies to the nation."
On Saturday, Ahmadinejad said inflation stood at 15 percent, but Mousavi showed a report released by the Central Bank of Iran indicating it stood at 25 percent.
"Why do we lie to people? Why do we give people wrong information? Is this to the country's benefit? Is gaining the presidential chair worth lying to people this blatantly?" Mousavi said on Sunday.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/08/irans-macaca-moment-amhad_n_212654.html