Ahmadinejad hits back after 'nuclear spy' acquitted
TEHRAN, Nov 28 (AFP) Nov 28, 2007
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hit back on Wednesday after an ex-nuclear negotiator he accused of spying was cleared of espionage, calling for the publication of documents exposing the official.
The Iranian judiciary the day before had cleared Hossein Moussavian on two counts of espionage and holding classified information, in direct contradiction of the government's accusations against the former atomic negotiator.
"The full content of the negotiation of this ex-member of the nuclear negotiating team should be published," Ahmadinejad said after a cabinet meeting, according to the Mehr news agency.
"It is very appropriate that the intelligence content he has given to the Westerners should be published, so others are informed of it," added Ahmadinejad.
Ahmadinejad sparked a huge controversy on November 12 when he accused critics of "pressuring the judge to acquit a spy". The remarks were seen as an unmistakable reference to Moussavian.
The president's rivals expressed outrage that he made a judgement of guilt against Moussavian before the judiciary had reached any conclusion.
Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie had even said the allegations were "proven" and that Moussavian had passed classified information to the British embassy in Tehran.
The judiciary found there was a case for Moussavian to answer over less serious allegations of making "propaganda against the system".
Moussavian was the spokesman of the moderate nuclear negotiating team that served under president Mohammad Khatami and was replaced when hardliner Ahmadinejad became president in 2005.
The former negotiator -- who was detained briefly in May but released on bail -- is a close ally of Ahmadinejad's great political rival, the pragmatic former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.