Iran: Ahmadinejad angers rivals by calling Chavez 'a saint'
NCRI - Iranian regime’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sparked outrage among his rivals by hailing Venezuela's Hugo Chavez as a saint and saying he would 'return on resurrection day'.
Ahmadinejad made the controversial comments in a letter of condolence to Venezuela before flying to the South American nation to attend Mr Chavez's state funeral.
The Iranian regime's president also declared a day of national mourning for Chavez and said he would be 'resurrected with Jesus Christ and Imam Mahdi –Shiite Islam's hidden Imam - to save humanity and bring justice to the world.
But his remarks have angered high-ranking Iranian clerics and political rivals in the mullahs’ dictatorship.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of Foreign Policy and National Security Commission in the regime's parliament, said: "Linking the death of Chavez to religious issues is surely against people's beliefs.
"Using terms like resurrection for person like Chavez is not compatible with Islamic beliefs."
Mesbah Yazdi, a member of Assembly of Experts, said: "It should not be the case that we reach a point where a high-ranking official of the country sees himself as the same rank as the Supreme Leader."
Well-known cleric Mohsen Gharaati told Ahmadinejad: "Who are you that say these things? This shows to what extent a person will go to when he has abandoned religion.”
Senior cleric Ahmad Khatami, Tehran’s Substitute Friday Prayers leader, added: "I tell you frankly that what he said was going too far."
And influential cleric Mohammad Taghi Rahbar added: "Ahmadinejad's remarks were incorrect and a complete exaggeration."