Epic bank scandal investigation hits Ahmadinejad
The largest case of bank fraud in Iranian history is threatening to engulf President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after a parliamentary commission decided to investigate his office for possible connections to the crime, Iranian state media has reported.
To add insult to injury, Islamist hard-line legislators loyal to Iran's Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, subsequently sent the commission a letter requesting specifically that Ahmadinejad be included in the investigation. They have since said they would not follow up on the letter out of respect for Khamenei.
It is one move of many by Islamists to link the president to the alleged embezzlement of 30 trillion Iranian riads -- more than $2.5 billion.
To frame the extent of allegations in U.S. terms: It would be akin to religious conservative legislators attempting to implicate a sitting American president in the infamous Madoff Ponzi scheme, in which disgraced financier Bernie Madoff cheated investors out of $50 billion.
Ahmadinejad has vehemently rejected accusations that anyone in his government is linked to what is currently the highest-profile crime in the country, according to the semi-official Mehr News Agency.