Top Leaders Fail to Attend Meeting in Iran’s Parliament
New York Times / Nazila Fathi

In a sign of the increasing divide among Iranian leaders, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani did not attend a meeting aimed at creating political “unity” on Tuesday, news agencies reported.

The meeting, which was held in Parliament, was delayed by 40 minutes because Mr. Ahmadinejad did not notify the legislature that he would not attend until the last minute. Mr. Rafsanjani’s office cited a busy schedule for his absence. Only 30 of the 199 invited guests participated, according to the Web site Parlemannews.

Analysts view the failed meeting as illustrating a continuing rift within the country’s ruling establishment five months after the disputed June 12 presidential election. The opposition has accused Mr. Ahmadinejad of rigging the vote.

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