Iran's supreme leader warns subordinates to stop bickering

Complaining that the increasingly open public fights between the executive branch of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and high-ranking officials in the legislative and judicial branches were providing ammunition to “foreign media and enemies,” the ayatollah, who has the last word on affairs of state in Iran, set the clearest red line ever to those running the country’s day-to-day matters.

“I warn the heads of the three branches to mind their own business,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, according to Iranian news media accounts. He emphasized that “from now on,” until presidential elections scheduled for June 2013, those “exploiting emotions of the people” would be guilty of “committing treason against the country.”

The warning sets up Ayatollah Khamenei to intervene in the continuous bickering that has pitted Mr. Ahmadinejad against the alliance of Sadegh Larijani, the head of the judiciary, and Ali Larijani, his brother and the Parliament speaker.