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Iran: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Criticizes Flogging Of Student

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's president has criticized the flogging of a student convicted of ridiculing him, saying high-profile political figures frequently criticize the government with impunity.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says in comments posted on his presidential website Tuesday that "when high-profile figures freely insult the government, I disapprove that a youth is flogged for insulting me."

Ahmadinejad made the comments during a meeting with provincial governors in Tehran.

Peiman Aref, a student activist supporting the opposition, received 74 lashes on Sunday before leaving the prison where he had served a yearlong term.

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