Top ayatollah: I think Ahmadinejad might be "under a spell"

Regime elements are taking sides, but the president is looking increasingly isolated as the Revolutionary Guard and the clerical establishment swing behind the Supreme Leader. Even Ayatollah Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi, whose apocalyptic vision of Shia Islam Mr Ahmadinejad is thought to follow, has joined in the criticism.

“I’ve told some of my close friends that I am more than 90 per cent certain that he has been put under a spell,” Ayatollah Yazdi told reporters. “This is not natural at all. “No sane person does such things unless his free will has been taken away.”…

The accusation that Mr Mashaie has put the president under a spell is more than rhetorical: friends of Mr Mashaie have already been arrested for sorcery. “I do not know if it is hypnotism, a spell or relations with yogis. But there is something wrong,” Ayatollah Yazdi said.