Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday accused his election rivals of adopting smear tactics used by Germany’s dictator Adolf Hitler and said they could face jail for insulting him.
Ahmadinejad was speaking at a rally in Tehran on the final day of an increasingly bitter and hard-fought election campaign, in which he faces a growing challenge from moderate former prime minister Mirhossein Mousavi.
Mousavi and the two other candidates say Ahmadinejad has lied about the state of the economy which is suffering from high inflation and a fall in oil revenues from last year’s record levels.
Ahmadinejad said his rivals had broken laws against insulting the president.
"No one has the right to insult the president, and they did it. And this is a crime. The person who insulted the president should be punished, and the punishment is jail," he told supporters outside Tehran’s Sharif University.
"Such insults and accusations against the government are a return to Hitler’s methods, to repeat lies and accusations … until everyone believes those lies," Ahmadinejad said.