Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Nov. 03 Irans Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi will be fired very shortly, Iran Focus has learned. Iran Focus
Tehran, Iran, Nov. 03 Irans Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi will be fired very shortly, Iran Focus has learned.
He will be replaced by Mostafa Morseli, a hard-line figure who was foreign ministry spokesman during the tenure of Ali-Akbar Velayati as Foreign Minister. Velayati is now the chief foreign policy adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Asefi, a former ambassador to France, has been close to the hard-liners and tried to align himself with the new government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was even on a list of candidates considered for the foreign ministry portfolio in July. But even Asefi could not save his skin as Ahmadinejad launched a massive purge of Irans diplomatic service last week.
As part of a purge of the Islamic Republics diplomats who do not belong to the ultra-Islamist faction, Ahmadinejad has ordered the expulsion of 40 of the countrys ambassadors and envoys, nearly half of the fleet. These included Iranian ambassadors in European countries, who were involved in Tehrans nuclear negotiations with the West.