News of an open confrontation between Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come to light, revealing infighting over the dismissal of the minister of Intelligence by Ahmadinejad. Khamenei opposed the firing.

According to reports, last month Heydar Moslehi — the former minister of Intelligence — presented an extensive report on Ahmadinejad’s political and economic activities to Khamenei. In addition, the report is said to have contained information on a number of serious violations.

In late January/early February, a group calling itself “a trade association” — all of its members belong to security forces close to Ahmadinejad — traveled to Dubai. The group’s announced intentions were to cozy up to a trade association of Iranians in Dubai, and to reveal a plan to open a special office for their economic activities. However, reports claim that they also held clandestine meetings with two American officials with political and military connections.

The report the minister of Intelligence provided — which cautioned of an especially dangerous outcome to these undertakings — is said to have disturbed Khamenei.

Other reports from inside Iran point to the Obama administration’s continuation of privately approaching the Iranian officials, hoping to get them to return to negotiations on the nuclear issues. Clearly, sanctions have not achieved the goal of stopping Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. This may explain why President Obama kept silent when Green leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi were arrested in February, leading to mass protests across Iran on February 14, February 20, and March 1. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians protested.

While the Iranians ignore the Americans, they are strengthening ties with China in secret oil deals.

The Ministry of Industries delivered a classified report to the Iranian parliament and an official memo to the Ministry of Intelligence, both of which stated their inability to explain or justify oil contracts with China and Malaysia. They admitted they had no information on any of the details of the contracts, and declared they had no involvement with these deals.

Then, during the last week of February, a classified report from the Ministry of Petroleum tipped off the Energy Commission within the Iranian parliament: a substantial amount of fuel had been exported by the Revolutionary Guards to the Chinese via underwater pipelines in the Persian Gulf (Kish Island). The Ministry of Petroleum acknowledged a $3 billion oil sale discrepancy, which could not be accounted for.