Ahmadinejad's Advisers Jailed for Practicing Witchcraft

An ongoing fight between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has taken a turn for the weird, as several of the president's closest advisers have been arrested and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns, or spirits.

One such alleged conjurer, Abbas Ghaffari, was described by Iranian *cough* news service Ayandeh as being "a man with special skills in metaphysics and connections with the unknown worlds." (There are also widespread rumors he's a third-level halfling paladin with a dexterity score of 16+3, but those have yet to be substantiated.)

The feud stems from Ahmadinejad's increasing reliance on his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, who has been pushing for less clerical involvement in government. There was also the matter of the Ayatollah reinstating an intelligence minister who the president can't stand, leading to Ahmadinejad's unprecedented, 11-day walkout. Trouble in paradise!

Things started getting all Hogwarts, however, when Ahmadinejad backed a documentary that claimed the Hidden Imam Mahdi, a religious savior, would be making an appearance soon.

Conservative clerics, who say that the Mahdi's return cannot be predicted, have accused a "deviant current" within the president's inner circle, including Mashaei, of being responsible for the film.

When Ahmadinejad sensed his walkout was threatening his political future, he returned to work — only to see 25 of his people thrown in jail for witchcraft. It's days like this when you wish you could just wrap yourself up in your Members Only Jacket of Invisibility and just...disappear. [Guardian, photo via AP]