By Nader Uskowi
Iran’s presidential office today came in defense of Ahmadinejad’s embattled First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi. Iran’s judiciary had announced last week that it had begun an investigation into the corruption allegations against Rahimi who has denied the charges and has said that he intends to remain Ahmadinejad’s principle deputy throughout his term in office.
The judiciary is run by Sadeq Larijani, the brother of Ali Larijani, the influential speaker of Majlis. Any serious investigation and eventual trial of Rahimi could make the growing infighting within the Islamic Republic’s political establishment very ugly.
The judiciary’s announcement on Rahimi’s investigation came days after Ahmadinejad unceremoniously dumped his foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki while he was on a foreign mission. Mottaki is thought to be close to Larijani brothers.
On Sunday, former foreign minister Mottaki was praised in a statement by 260 parliament members — all but 30 — in a direct slap against Ahmadinejad.