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Clerics Force Out Ahmadinejad’s VP

[Scroll down for update.]

From Iran’s Press TV:

Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie (left) talks to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during an Iranian expatriate summit in April 2009.

Khatami: Ahmadinejad snubbed clerics by VP choice

A senior Iranian cleric has criticized President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the appointment of Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei as Vice President.

Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami, a Friday prayer leader in Tehran, said on Saturday that Ahmadinejad should reconsider the decision of Mashaei appointment amid a widespread criticism by Principlist supporters and the clergy.

Mashaei, whose daughter is married to Ahmadinejad’s son, is a controversial figure. He was previously the head of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, and a deputy to the president.

“Given the sensitivities that are known to the president, I could not believe that this appointment would take place,” said Khatami, who sits on the Assembly of Experts and is a senior member of the Society of the Tutors of the Qom Seminary.

“However, unbelievably, this news was announced in the media… It seems that this appointment will create challenges for the government.”

Khatami added that Ahmadinejad had shown “a twisted face to clerics and elites.”

Rahim-Mashaei drew criticism from a number of leading clerics and Ahmadinejad supporters during the president’s first term, when he allegedly said the Iranian people was friendly with all peoples, including Israelis.

However, Ahmadinejad, who counts Rahim-Mashaei as one of his closest confidants, resisted the calls for his dismissal, and recently raised his rank, as part of his cabinet reshuffle.

Well, it would appear that blood is thicker than water.

Or at least getting more baksheesh into the family is even more important than having an impeccable history of anti-Semitism.

[Mashaei] allegedly said the Iranian people was friendly with all peoples, including Israelis.

One certainly can see why such an outlandish statement would rile up the “Principlist supporters and the clergy.”

After all, they have their principles.

Khatami added that Ahmadinejad had shown “a twisted face to clerics and elites.”

That’s his real face.

He can’t help it.

  Update!

From a relieved Agence France-Pressee:

Ahmadinejad’s controversial VP pick quits: report

by Jay Deshmukh Jay Deshmukh 38 mins ago

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s choice as first vice president, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, has walked away from the job, state media reported on Sunday.

Mashaie, a controversial politician and confidant of Ahmadinejad, has "resigned three days after his appointment" as first vice president, state-owned English-language channel Press TV reported.

The channel initially sourced its report to the education ministry-funded news agency, Pana. In its news item, Pana said "The content of his resignation letter will be published soon."

There was no immediate independent confirmation of Mashaie’s resignation.

The appointment was strongly opposed by hardliners among Ahmadinejad’s own support base.

Mashaie, whose daughter is married to Ahmadinejad’s son, is an outspoken figure who last year earned the wrath of hardliners, including supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for saying Iran is a "friend of the Israeli people."

In his current role as vice president in charge of tourism he sparked ire among MPs for reportedly watching a group of women dance at a congress in Turkey in 2007.

His nomination as first vice president had ruffled feathers among hardliners deeply sensitive to any breach of the long-standing taboo on relations of any kind with arch foe Israel.

Ahmadinejad himself spearheaded an anti-Israel campaign during his first four-year term, even calling the Holocaust a "myth."

Since the announcement of Mashaie’s appointment on Friday, there has been a chorus of criticism from hardliners…

But Ahmadinejad had insisted Mashaie was a fine candidate for the job, saying he was a "pious and dedicated" man who believed in the principles of the Islamic revolution.

Well, that was quick.

Obviously there is no question has to who has the whip hand in Iraq.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, July 19th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Clerics Force Out Ahmadinejad’s VP”

  1. canary says:

    However, Ahmadinejad, who counts Rahim-Mashaei as one of his closest confidants

    I think Ahamdinejad may have confided too much to his dimple faced employee.
    In America it’s called sexual harrassment on the job. Ahmadman took the arranged marriage as a sign that Rahim would do favor to work his way up.

  2. MinnesotaRush says:

    “said Khatami, who sits on the Assembly of Experts”

    Oh, oh. Don’t anybody let o-blah-blah know about this “Assembly of Experts” or we’ll have one by sundown. It sounds so o-blah-blah!

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    Fine example of church and state running the machine.


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