The Ahmadinejad administration held its “honouring of the organizers of national visiting tours” on Thursday at Tehran’s One Hundred Thousand Stadium, despite criticism from conservative factions that the event was an excuse to create publicity for Ahmadinejad supporters in the coming presidential election.
Reports indicate that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad entered the stadium by helicopter and, despite expectations, he was not accompanied by his chief advisor, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai.
Accompanying the president were the ministers of the interior and urban development, the heads of the Red Crescent, the president’s office and Cultural Heritage and Tourism, and the governor of Tehran.
Reports indicate that the president did not mention the name of his chief advisor, Rahim Mashai, although expectations are that he will be nominated to run in the coming election.
Ahmadinejad’s opponents, who had eyed this event with suspicion, have warned the president that he cannot use government facilities and financial resources to promote his preferred candidates.