Friday, July 24, 2009

Ahmadinejad’s VP Pick Steps Down

Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaie, Ahmadinejad’s controversial choice to become his first vice president in his new cabinet has stepped down. Fars reported that Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi, Ahmadinejad’s senior aide, has confirmed Mashaie’s resignation.

“In the face of [Supreme Leader’s] decree, I don't believe myself to be the first vice-president. I will continue to offer my services to the revolution and Iran wherever else necessary,” Mashie was quoted as saying [Fars News Agency, 24 April].

Ahmadinejad had come under attack by his supports on the right to dump Mashie. Khamenei finally sent a letter to Ahmadinejad ordering him to reverse Mashaie’s appointment. Mashaie's reference to a decree is that letter sent by Khamenei.

The fiasco has become a major embarrassment for Ahmadinejad who did not expect to come under attack by his natural allies on his very first major decision in post-election Iran.

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