AFP: Defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi said on Wednesday the new government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could cause problems for Iran both at home and internationally as the hardliner also came under pressure to rescind a key appointment.
By Jay Deshmukh
TEHRAN (AFP) — Defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi said on Wednesday the new government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could cause problems for Iran both at home and internationally as the hardliner also came under pressure to rescind a key appointment.
The opposition leader's latest comments came as Ahmadinejad faced stiff opposition from some of his own hardline supporters to cancel his appointment of a controversial close aide to the post of first vice president.
Mousavi, who has refused to acknowledge Ahmadinejad's victory in the June 12 election, said senior technocrats, managers and other professionals were not keen to work with the new government.
"You are facing a government which the elite do not want to work with, and on the other hand the government too is not interested in using the experience of the elite," the ILNA news agency cited Mousavi as saying.
"This will result in a lack of efficiency and legitimacy, which can increase domestic and foreign problems," he said, addressing academics and journalists.
"The only way out of this crisis is to pay attention to the people's interests, which can provide the ground for politics to flourish."
Despite a severe post-poll crackdown on his supporters, Mousavi has remained defiant in protesting against Ahmadinejad's re-election, calling it a "shameful fraud."
Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Tehran after last month's election to demonstrate against Ahmadinejad's victory, and in the ensuing violence at least 20 people were killed.
The massive outpouring of public protest has shaken the pillars of the Islamic republic and triggered its worst crisis since the 1979 revolution.
Iran's political turmoil deepened further as hardliners came out against Ahmadinejad's appointment of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie as first vice president.
Rahim Mashaie, whose daughter married Ahmadinejad's son, is an outspoken figure who last year earned the wrath of many, including supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for saying Iran was a "friend of the Israeli people."
Resistance to his appointment is a sign of the difficulties Ahmadinejad is likely to face in forming a new cabinet in the wake of the disputed presidential election.
However, a defiant Ahmadinejad has not shown any sign of backing down, and on Tuesday he said Rahim Mashaie will continue with his work.
A top Ahmadinejad aide said on Wednesday the hardliner was not known to bow to pressure.
"The president takes decisions independently… and experience has shown that his decisions are not affected by propaganda," Ali Akbar Javanfekr told ILNA.
But he also did not rule out opposition to Rahim Mashaie's appointment having a negative impact on the new cabinet being approved.
Rahim Mashaie on Tuesday insisted he will stay on in his new job, adding that the task ahead was "huge and tiring."