Dissident cleric lambasts current Iranian regime

November 11, 2011 - 8:05 AM

BERLIN (AP) — A dissident Iranian cleric says Mahmud Ahmadinedjad's presidency is the most "destructive" in the country's history.

Hassan Yousefi Eshkevari, an outspoken middle-ranking cleric who was jailed for four years in Iran, told a conference of Iran scholars and experts in Berlin on Friday that Ahmadinedjad's administration has "crossed almost all political and religious lines."

Eshkevari said through a translator there has never been a "similar gang that has been so destructive" and that this Iranian regime is deeply at odds with Shia tradition.

Eshkevari was arrested in 2000 after returning to Iran from a conference in Berlin where he made remarks considered by the regime to be detrimental to religion and state.

He was sentenced to seven years in jail and was released after serving four.