Iran General NewsIranian leader rebuffs Ahmadinejad over official’s dismissal

Iranian leader rebuffs Ahmadinejad over official’s dismissal


Washington Post: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received a public rebuff Wednesday when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, confirmed that the intelligence minister, whom Ahmadinejad had dismissed Sunday, is to keep his job.

The Washington Post

By Thomas Erdbrink

TEHRAN — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received a public rebuff Wednesday when Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, confirmed that the intelligence minister, whom Ahmadinejad had dismissed Sunday, is to keep his job.

In a letter carried by all Iranian news agencies, Khamenei told Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi and his officials to “continue their work,” effectively ending three days of uncertainty over Moslehi’s fate and the reasons for his apparently forced resignation.

It is rare for Khamenei, who generally supports the government’s policies, to step in and modify the president’s decisions. In a keynote speech marking the beginning of the Iranian new year in March, Iran’s supreme leader publicly praised the government for implementing bold economic changes.

The controversy over the key ministry post has flared against a backdrop of public tension about what high-ranked officials described as the growing influence of Ahmadinejad’s closest aide, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, in the country’s affairs. Semiofficial news media have reported that the 52-year-old aide played a central role in Moslehi’s dismissal.

On Tuesday, the Sharq newspaper quoted a government Web site as saying that Mashaei had accused the Intelligence Ministry and others last week of not “having exact news and analysis” about events unfolding in the region.

“If we miss the connection of all these events with the macro plan of imperialists, this will cause us to make mistakes,” Mashaei told the Dowlat news Web site.

Sharq, quoting other Web sites, wrote that after Moslehi tried Saturday to fire a senior intelligence official who is apparently close to Mashaei, the aide persuaded Ahmadinejad to remove the minister. Khamenei’s refusal to accept the move suggests that he could be trying to limit Mashaei’s influence, analysts say.

Mashaei, a former Intelligence Ministry official, made a controversial trip in December to Jordan, a country with which Iran has frosty relations because of its ties with Israel. Recently, Ahmadinejad has warned neighbors in the region that the United States and Israel are planning to divide Jordan to establish a Palestinian state there.

Two weeks ago, for reasons that remain unclear, Ahmadinejad abruptly replaced Mashaei, who holds several government positions, as the head of the president’s office. Mashaei’s promotion of Iranian culture over Islamic culture has angered hard-line Shiite clerics, who say they would prefer to see him leave. But analysts say the aide still wields considerable influence on the president, whose son is married to Mashaei’s daughter.

Official media have quoted government supporters as saying that Ahmadinejad accepts Khamenei’s decision on retaining the intelligence minister. But as of late Wednesday, the president, who is traveling in western Iran this week, had not issued a statement confirming that Moslehi would stay on.

Special correspondent Kay Armin Serjoie contributed to this report.

Latest news

Iran: Inefficient Management Resulting in Environmental and Historical Disasters

On June 7, Hossein Akbari, Deputy of Natural Environment and Biodiversity at the Department of Environmental Protection Agency of...

Iranian regime threatens Middle East with “hypersonic” missiles

The Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Tuesday unveiled a hypersonic missile. Hypersonic is a type of...

The Iranian regime lacks nuclear transparency

Iran has not acted as expected in terms of transparency regarding its nuclear program, said the head of the...

Iran has sold $1 million in ammo to Russia

The Iranian regime has sold ammunition to Russia worth more than one million dollars in the ongoing conflict in...

Forecasting a “difficult year” for Iran

The official website of the Iranian regime’s presidency was taken over by Iranian dissidents in a significant security breach...

US Sanctions IRGC’s Foreign Terrorism, Intel Unit Chief

The US government has imposed sanctions targeting the Chief of the Intelligence Unit of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps...

Must read

Iran sanctions: Where we go from here

Wall Street Journal: A coordinated strategy by the U.S....

Anti-mullah rap is new hit in Iran

Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Feb. 28 – Rap music...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you