Iran's top cleric pushes Ahmadinejad on aide
LA Times / Borzou Daragahi

Mashaei, born in 1960 in the Caspian Sea town of Ramsar, as an opportunist who has parlayed his longtime friendship with Ahmadinejad, an in-law, into a position of power.

Several sources say the two men met in the 1980s while serving in the Revolutionary Guard. Mashaei cultivated strong ties to the intelligence and propaganda divisions of the Revolutionary Guard, as well as the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, where he served in the 1990s. In 2004, Ahmadinejad named him to a position within the Tehran municipality. A video posted online shows Mashaei making a speech in line with Hojjatieh philosophy.On Friday, a news website quoted Tehran Mayor Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf as accusing Mashaei and his wife of supporting the Mujahedin Khalq, an outlawed Iranian exile group that seeks to overthrow the government and that the United States considers a terrorist group.

Qalibaf said Mashaei's wife is a former member of the group and the two met in prison, where he was her interrogator. A source close to the Mashaei family confirmed that, saying that she had been sentenced to hang when he proposed to marry her to save her from the gallows.

recommended by Fred