The President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has constantly been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. He had earlier been accused of high subsidies on fuel and immense domestic pressure. International sanctions have also dealt a heavy blow to the country’s economy.
A nuclear scientist was killed on 29 November in Tehran by ‘terrorists’. The scientist killed has been named as Majid Shahriari. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused "Western governments" and Israel of the killing.
President Ahmadinejad said, some of the centrifuges used in its uranium enrichment programme were sabotaged, raising suspicions that they were targeted by the Stuxnet computer worm. Experts say the worm, which Iran said in September had attacked its computers, has been specially configured to damage motors commonly used in uranium-enrichment centrifuges by sending them spinning out of control. The computer bug is a form of customized code, written to attack a precise target. The President accused Israel and the West. The President is known to blame Israel and the West for any incident that occurs in the country and this accusation comes as no surprise.
On 1 December, Iran declared a two-day public holiday in Tehran due to air pollution - the second such shutdown in a week. Iran’s population has increased considerably during the last few years and so has the number of cars. Most of the cars are old and therefore generate a lot of smoke. Iranian health experts say that thousands of deaths every year are caused by heart attacks and respiratory illnesses brought on by smog. This is a serious cause for concern for Ahmadinejad.
The same day Iran witnessed the execution of the mistress of a prominent footballer for the 2002 murder of his wife. Shahla Jahed, 40, was hanged in Tehran for stabbing to death the wife of 1980s football star Nasser Mohammadkhani, the woman's lawyer told Irna news agency. International human rights groups had campaigned for her release since she was jailed more than eight years ago. The Council of Europe said the execution showed that Iran's government had "little respect for human rights".
In Iran, lack of respect for human rights is reflected in the form of harsh punishments and executions are part of everyday life. The government of Iran is criticized for punishments such as torture, rape, and killing of political prisoners. Under the administration of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s human rights record "has deteriorated markedly" according to the group Human Rights Watch.
The latest round of disclosures by WikiLeaks has also bought the Iranian president under the scanner. US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said they underline the broader world's concern about Iran's nuclear program. "Any of the comments that are being reported on, allegedly from the cables confirm the fact that Iran poses a very serious threat in the eyes of many of her neighbours and a serious concern far beyond her region." Ahmadinejad dismissed the WikiLeaks documents as "worthless" and "mischief" which he insisted would not affect Tehran's relations with its Arab neighbours.
Ahmadinejad is walking a tightrope, surrounded by mammoth problems. He can continue to stay in power till he has the support of The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. He is not a popular president but Iran is not exactly in a position to elect another one right now.