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Reasons behind Moslehi's resignation
Mon, 18 Apr 2011 16:43:45 GMT
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Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi
News of Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi's resignation was published by IRNA, the country's official news agency.

The news quickly spread through other domestic media outlets. But only two hours later, Fars News Agency, also an official news source, released a report that Moslehi will remain in his current position as Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei did not accept his resignation. However, no media outlet said what the reason behind the resignations was. Reports from local sources suggest that Moslehi's resignation was in fact not a voluntary move and that the minister was pressured by the head of Iran's presidential office Esfandiyar Rahim-Mashaei to resign. A Sunday report by the news website Azad Negar suggests Moslehi earlier ordered the replacement of the chief of the Intelligence Ministry's Bureau of Planning and Budget, who was in fact backed by Rahim-Mashaei. The report suggested that since Rahim-Mashaei did not favor the move, Moslehi was asked to resign on Sunday evening.

Moslehi resigns and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accepts his resignation. The content of his resignation letter were not published by any of the official government sources but what has been published is the content of the letter accepting the resignation by President Ahmadinejad. Moslehi's resignation has been left incomplete however. The trend in Iran in recent years has been that the intelligence minister is nominated with the approval of the Leader and once approved, the president presents the nominee to the Parliament for a confidence vote. The Leader has not accepted the resignation; therefore, Moslehi remains as the country's intelligence minister. Not long ago, an official at the Intelligence Ministry had been sacked from his position for making a critical speech about Rahim-Mashaei and his replacement has not been designated up until now. Last August, the Intelligence Ministry a major reshuffle on the deputy level. The head of the country's official news agency, Ali-Akbar Javanfekr, writes in his personal blog, “It is clear to political intellectuals that the change of minister in an important ministry such as the Intelligence Ministry is not possible without coordination with the president and the Leader.”

It is clear that administering changes in government personnel is one of the most natural trends. What made this particular case the headlines and created a media outcry was the fact that the normal procedures that usually take place in such a situation were not carried out.

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