TEHRAN — Iran?s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to listen to "benevolent criticism" as the hardliner began another term in office amid opposition claims his re-election was fraudulent.
"There is internal criticism backed by foreign media with the aim of sabotage but there is also benevolent criticism which may not come from supporters of the government but they contain good comments," Khamenei said in a meeting with Ahmadinejad and his cabinet, state television reported.
He called on the government to have its "ears open to criticism."
Also on Monday a leading Iranian conservative clerical group told Ahmadinejad to avoid "provocative" comments, in a first such message to the hardliner whose disputed re-election has bitterly divided the political elite.
"We ask the president and the government to seriously try to solve people's problems and the country's economic and social issues and avoid talking about unnecessary and provocative issues," the Society of Militant Clergy said in a statement.
"The comments made and the disrespect committed in the debates, speeches and rallies before and after the election caused divergence," said the statement carried on their official website.
The group also rebuked the opposition, which alleges the election was massively rigged, for pursuing its demands "outside law" and sp... >>>
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