Iran`s top leader visits holy city amid tensions

Iran`s top leader has begun a 10-day visit to the holy city of Qom seeking to bring senior clerics into line with the policies of the ruling system.

Updated: Oct 19, 2010, 21:23 PM IST

Tehran: Iran`s top leader has begun a 10-day
visit to the holy city of Qom seeking to bring senior clerics
into line with the policies of the ruling system.

The trip offers the clearest evidence that Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei wants to close ranks among religious leaders at a
time when Iran is facing serious international pressures over
its nuclear programme.

Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters in
Iran, publicly supported President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after
the disputed elections last year.

But many senior clerics in Qom didn`t side with
Ahmadinejad and have increasingly adopted a critical language
against the government.

In his first speech yesterday, Khamenei told the Qom
clerics they should show support to the leadership,
specifically Ahmadinejad.

PTI