Tags: Iran | VP | quits

Ahmadinejad's Controversial VP Pick Quits

Tuesday, 21 Jul 2009 07:47 AM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

TEHRAN -- 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.

"It is imperative to terminate the appointment of Mashaie as first vice president in order to respect the wishes of the majority of the people," said Hossein Shariatmadari, managing director of the hardline Kayhan newspaper, whose post is in the gift of supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"When people found out about the appointment, they viewed this move as one taken not just in bad taste... but as one which shows indifference," he wrote in an editorial.

Leading hardline cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami also slammed Mashaie's nomination.

"This appointment has been made in defiance of the members of the Assembly of Experts, the majlis (parliament) and several leading figures who have often mentioned that the post is a sensitive one," the Jam-e Jam newspaper quoted Khatami as saying.

"I therefore urge Mr. Ahmadinejad to reconsider his choice before the wave of criticism spreads."

The resistance to Mashaie's appointment was a sign of the difficulties Ahmadinejad is likely to face in forming a new cabinet after his hotly contested re-election in a June 12 vote that his main challenger denounced as a "shameful fraud".

The incumbent's detractors have made clear that they have no intention of giving up their protest campaign, and only on Friday former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani used the platform of a sermon at the main weekly Muslim payers to say the government had lost people's trust.

Reza Akrami, a leading member of the Association of Militant Clergy, a conservative clerical group supporting Ahmadinejad, was quoted by the Fars news agency as disapproving of his choice of Mashaie.

"In the past four years I did not see wise behaviour from him... and he did not leave any outstanding report card," he was quoted as saying.

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.

© 2009 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

-

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Israel Refuses to Share New Zealand Ambassador with Palestinians

Monday, 08 Sep 2014 07:09 AM

Israel is refusing to allow New Zealand's new foreign minister to present his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin sin . . .

Malaysia Airlines to Slash 6,000 Jobs in Survival Bid

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 06:51 AM

Malaysia Airlines will slash 6,000 jobs, trim its route network, and replace its CEO under plans announced Friday to sta . . .

Scarborough: Obama's Right, NATO Nations Should Up Military Spending

Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 13:00 PM

The U.S. invests more than its fair share on military spending compared to other countries, and President Barack Obama w . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved