Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected a decision by election overseers to disqualify his own top aide, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, from the June 14 presidential vote in Iran as an act of “oppression” and threatened to take the case to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, AP reported.

His comments were posted Wednesday on his website the day after the Guardian Council removed Mashaei from the final candidate list.

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The ruling dashes Ahmadinejad’s hopes of deciding his successor, Putin fashion. He can’t run himself because of term limits.

The election council also disqualified ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a centrist and, potentially, a reformist. Only eight candidates, mostly hard-liners associated with the Mullahs, were approved.

Ahmadinejad enjoyed the Mullahs’ support until he was accused of challenging the Supreme Leader Khamenei’s authority.

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