Iran to publish president's speeches
Iran will publish the speeches and writings of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel's destruction and once wrote President Bush a letter criticizing his handling of the Sept. 11 attacks, newspapers reported Tuesday.
Ahmadinejad reportedly has appointed a 15-member panel—dubbed the Council of Policy-Making and Supervision over Publication of President's Works and Thoughts—and made up of his closest allies, to compile and publish the works.
The move provoked derision from the growing ranks of his critics at home, who dismiss the council as a propaganda machine that will waste public money to promote Ahmadinejad ahead of the 2009 presidential election.
"This council is nothing but an early election campaign using public money for the populist president," said Saeed Shariati, a senior official of the largest reformist party, the Islamic Iran Participation Front.
No details were released about the council's plans, and Ahmadinejad's advisers could not be reached for comment.
But the published works are likely to include Ahmadinejad's letter lambasting Bush for his handling of the Sept. 11 attacks as well as a series of defiant speeches on Iran's disputed nuclear program.
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