Iran: Ahmadinejad's “Exorcist” Arrested

Twenty-five close collaborators and supporters of Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his influential Chief of Staff, Esfandyar Rahim Mashai, have been arrested, allegedly including “exorcist” or “djinn catcher” Abbas Ghaffari.

Many speculate this is due to a quarrel between Ahmadinejad and the Islamic Republic's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei over the resignation of Iran's minister of intelligence.

Last week, Morteza Nabavi, a conservative politician, accused [fa] team Ahmadinejad of thinking they were being empowered by djinns or genies. In a cabinet meeting on Sunday 8 May, 2011, Ahmadinejad responded by dismissing [fa] the notion that he has exorcists in his government as a joke. You can watch the video here [fa].

Iranian blogger Azarakan asks [fa] “Do you not smell the odor of the decaying corpse of a regime that runs the country by exorcism and tricks?” The blogger says:

Many were arrested, tortured and even killed after anti-government 2009 protests erupted, so it is not surprising that 20-30 Ahmadinejad-Mashai supporters were now jailed. After Ahamdinejad resisted the demand to keep the Minister of Intelligence in his post, the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Khamenei, needs to assert his authority. Khamenei is also [with these arrests] sending a warning to Ahmadinejad that in his two remaining years as president, he should not disobey. Finally the Supreme Leader wanted to demonstrate to all the different fractions that if anyone does not obey they will be punished without exceptions.

'Look what Mahmoud's exorcist did' cartoon by Nik Ahang

'Look what Mahmoud's exorcist did' cartoon by Nik Ahang

Nik Ahang
, a leading Iranian cartoonist, depicts opposition leader Mir Hussein Mousavi, watching ghosts vote in the controversial presidential election two years ago, where Ahamdinejad was declared to have won by 63 percent. The original caption says ‘Look what Mahmoud's exorcist did’.

Another blogger, Zabanesabz says [fa] that the exorcist Abbas Ghafari was a kind of ‘herbal doctor’ who used to claim he had special powers to heal different sicknesses. He also said he had special dark powers.

Blogger Motafekrin reminds [fa] us that during the presidential election two years ago, Mir Hussein Mousavi said that Ahmadinejad governs the country by superstition and fortune-telling.

A couple of Iranian newspapers reported [fa] that several employees of pro-government websites disappeared on Tuesday. They did not explain what made them disappear: security forces or the dijnns!

Note: In its first few minutes of publication, this post contained an editing error in the first sentence that made it sound as though the chief of staff Esfandyar Rahim Mashai had been arrested. This is not the case.

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