tehranbureau An independent source of news on Iran and the Iranian diaspora
nextback

Abrupt Mottaki Dismissal Sign of Mounting Discord in Leadership

by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles

14 Dec 2010 22:5127 Comments
MottakiAhmjadLookingAway.jpg Firing of foreign minister follows Khamenei development conference snub.

[ analysis ] Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran's foreign minister since 2005, was suddenly fired by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while Mottaki was on an official state visit to Senegal. One of Iran's most experienced career diplomats, Mottaki graduated from a university in India and joined the foreign ministry in 1984. In the mid-1990s, he served as ambassador to Japan. Ahmadinejad has appointed Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), as the interim foreign minister. Born in Iraq to a clerical family and educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in nuclear engineering, Salehi was formerly the Iranian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency and deputy secretary-general of the Islamic Conference headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Reports indicate that Mohammad Ghannadi Maraghei, head of the Research Center for Nuclear Science and Technology, will replace Salehi as AEOI chief. Ghannadi has been sanctioned under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1803, which orders U.N. members to prevent him from traveling outside Iran.

Although this is not the first time that Ahmadinejad has fired an important member of his cabinet, this latest episode is another move in the behind-the-scenes power struggle between the president and his supporters on the one hand, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and those who support him on the other. Ahmadinejad had already tried to fire Mottaki in 2006 and 2007, but each time was blocked by the Majles and, indirectly, Khamenei.

Since Khamenei's ascent to the position of Supreme Leader, there has been an unwritten rule according to which the foreign minister, as well as the ministers of intelligence and the interior, are either picked directly by the ayatollah himself or, at the very least, only once the president has obtained his consent. For example, former President Mohammad Khatami's first intelligence minister, Ghorban-Ali Dorri Najafabadi, was imposed on him by Khamenei. After the revelation on January 4, 1999, that agents of the intelligence ministry were behind the infamous Chain Murders, an anonymous Khatami aide told the press that in the list of possibilities for the post of intelligence minister, "Dorri Najafabadi was Mr. Khatami's 15th candidate," implying that he had not been under consideration at all (no one makes a list of 15 people for such an important position). Abdollah Nouri, the Khatami administration's first interior minister, was impeached by the Fifth Majles, which was controlled by the opposition to Khatami.

Under huge behind-the-scenes pressure from Khamenei, Khatami's minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Ataollah Mohajerani, resigned. When in 2003 there were credible reports that Behzad Nabavi, a leading member of the Organization of Islamic Revolution Mojahedin and a minister in Mir Hossein Mousavi's cabinets in the 1980s, would be appointed by Khatami as his first vice president (Iran has eight), the hardliners ratcheted up pressure on Khatami not to make the appointment.

Given this background, the most important implication of Mottaki's firing is the continuing defiance that Ahmadinejad has demonstrated toward Khamenei and the widening of the rift that has developed between the two men ever since Ahmadinejad was "reelected" last year. Ahmadinejad truly believes that he received 24 million votes in last year's presidential election and, therefore, does not need the ayatollah.

As he was assembling the cabinet for his second administration in August 2009, he fired Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei from his post as minister of intelligence. Mohseni Ejei had reported to Khamenei without informing Ahmadinejad, saying that his ministry did not believe that the demonstrations in the aftermath of last year's presidential election were preplanned or that the demonstrators had any link with foreign powers. Ahmadinejad had previously fired Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, a leading figure in the execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, who is highly trusted by Khamenei. After the 2008 Majles elections, Pourmohammadi had reported to Khamenei, similarly without informing Ahmadinejad, about irregularities in that campaign. (After he was relieved of his cabinet position, Pourmohammadi was appointed by Khamenei to head the National Organization for Inspection, which oversees government operations, and is now a critic of Ahmadinejad.) Ahmadinejad replaced Pourmohammadi with Ali Kordan, who was impeached by the Majles. He then appointed his long-time close friend Sadegh Mahsouli -- the "billionaire minister" -- who supervised last year's presidential vote. After Mahsouli delivered Ahmadinejad's "reelection," the president appointed another close aide, Brigadier General Mostafa Mojammad Najjar -- defense minister in his first cabinet -- as the new interior minister and transferred Mahsouli to a different cabinet post.

Last year, Ahmadinejad tried to replace Mottaki with his close ally Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator and secretary-general of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), but was blocked by Khamenei. Jalili has a reputation for not listening to the people with whom he is supposedly negotiating. It is said that each time he meets with the P5+1 team to negotiate over Iran's nuclear program, he lectures them about all the problems that the West has created for the world. Mottaki was never Ahmadinejad's first choice for the foreign ministry to begin with. He was Ali Larijani's campaign manager in his unsuccessful run for the presidency in 2005. Larijani, a close ally of Khamenei, has been a strong critic of Ahmadinejad's. Mottaki is also close to the Jebheh Payrovan-e Khat-e Emam va Rahbari (Front of Followers of Imam and the Leader), a coalition of 14 right-wing groups that have repeatedly criticized Ahmadinejad. But because the coalition supported him in his successful 2005 presidential bid, Ahmadinejad appointed Mottaki as foreign minister.

After Ahmadinejad's attempt last year to replace Mottaki was blocked, he decided to take control of the ministry and Iran's foreign policy by other means. That signaled the beginning of the rift between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. As I have previously reported in detail, the rift between the two men has been deepening.

Unlike Khamenei, who has rejected any rapprochement between Iran and the United States, Ahmadinejad has publicly suggested several times that he is ready to enter negotiations and meet with President Barack Obama -- indeed, has even sent him a letter. Kayhan, the daily mouthpiece of the hardliners, which is under Khamenei's control, has criticized the president for proposing to negotiate with the United States.

After Iran reached an agreement with Turkey and Brazil to swap part of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium with fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor, both Kayhan and Majles Speaker Ali Larijani rebuked Ahmadinejad. Larijani declared that "some were fooled by the Westerners during the nuclear negotiations." Responding indirectly to Khamenei, Ahmadinejad countered in a TV interview that his critics were uninformed.

In a meeting of his cabinet with Khamenei in the first week of last September, Ahmadinejad noted that he has made 81 trips to foreign nations and 70 foreign delegations have visited Iran during his tenure, claiming that the figures indicated his government's activity and success in the international arena. The ayatollah responded, almost angrily, "More important than the trips is the spirit and content of the diplomacy," an oblique reference to Ahmadinejad's aggressive foreign policy and belligerent rhetoric. The Supreme Leader then emphasized that diplomacy must be led by the Foreign Ministry, that "parallel diplomacy is not acceptable," and that "weakening of the country's diplomacy, particularly under the current conditions, especially by members of the cabinet, is the same as sitting on a tree's branch while sawing it to cut it off."

Khamenei was clearly expressing his disapproval of Ahmadinejad's appointment of four special envoys for foreign affairs: Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, his close aide and in-law, for the Middle East; Abolfazl Zohrehvand, former ambassador to Italy and deputy to Jalili in the SNSC for media, for Afghanistan; Mohammad Mehdi Akhundzadeh, former ambassador to Germany, for the Caucasus region (in March 2009, he met with Richard Holbrooke, U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, who just passed away); and Hamid Baghaei, head of the Organization for the Cultural Heritage of Iran, for Asia. Baghaei created tension in Iranian-Turkish relations when, in a conference this August, he said that the Ottoman government had committed genocide against the Armenians in 1915. Turkey protested by summoning Iran's ambassador. Mottaki was forced to apologize, acknowledging that Baghaei's comments had negative consequences for Iranian diplomatic efforts.

In sum, Ahmadinejad has evidently been trying to control all foreign affairs through his own office, bypassing both the Majles and Khamenei. The confrontation between Ahmadinejad and the Majles is, in fact, another facet of his rift with the Supreme Leader. On the ayatollah's orders, many deputies criticize Ahmadinejad severely. In fact, some of the president's harshest critics, such as Ali Motahhari, Ali Larijani's brother-in-law, and Elyas Naderan, a former Revolutionary Guard commander, are Majles deputies.

Ahmadinejad's appointments of his "special envoys" deeply angered the conservatives around Khamenei. When Baghaei declared that the newly appointed representatives would work outside the Foreign Ministry and report directly to the president, and that two others would be appointed for Africa and South America, Mottaki accused him of naivete, saying, "It is not clear from what official positions Mr. Baghaei makes such unwise statements." Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Majles' National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, declared that parallel diplomacy by Ahmadinejad's representatives was hindering the nation's diplomatic work. Boroujerdi, who is close to the ayatollah, said that foreign policy and diplomacy are under the exclusive control of the Foreign Ministry.

Motahhari sternly criticized Ahmadinejad for his intervention in the work of the Foreign Ministry. The harshest criticisms were made by the website Alef, which is run by Ahmad Tavakkoli, chairman of the Majles Research Center and a maternal cousin of the Larijani brothers. Tavakkoli accused Ahmadinejad of not heeding Khamenei's call to avoid parallel diplomacy, demonstrating that he does not believe in Velaayat-e Faghih. Ahmadinejad finally relented and changed the title each of his appointees received to "advisor."

Khamenei himself has taken actions that clearly indicate his wariness of Ahmadinejad. Two weeks ago, he presided over a gathering in which the creation of an "Islamic-Iranian model of progress" for the nation's development was supposedly debated. No cabinet members, including even the minister of economy and higher education, were invited. This was clearly a signal by the ayatollah to Ahmadinejad that he sees no important role for him in the future. The firing of Mottaki may be Ahmadinejad's response to the ayatollah's subtle message.

Kayhan criticized Ahmadinejad for firing Mottaki while he was traveling as Iran's foreign minister. Boroujerdi said that neither he nor anyone else in the Majles had been consulted on the move. Declaring that he had only heard of the firing through the press, he asked, "Is it not true that Mr. Mottaki is currently traveling?"

But Raja News, the website run by Fatemeh Rajabi, an Ahmadinejad ally and wife of Justice Minister Gholam-Hossein Elham, rejoiced, declaring that the firing was long overdue.

Copyright © 2010 Tehran Bureau

SHAREtwitterfacebookSTUMBLEUPONbalatarin reddit digg del.icio.us

27 Comments

Dear Professor Sahimi,

Putting aside domestic politics, do you believe that Salehi is a good appointment?

Also, what do you make of Ahmadinejad's pursuit of better relations with the US? Do you believe that the opposition he faces at home is purely for domestic reasons, or does it indicate a general unwillingness to engage the US?

Thank you.

Pak / December 14, 2010 11:52 PM

US Irked by Over-Eager Swiss Diplomats

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,734392,00.html

Anthony / December 15, 2010 12:40 AM

Nard:

Good questions.

Pak:

Mottaki was a career diplomat. Salehi has been in some sort of diplomatic work, as I indicated in the article, but not as a diplomat. Since right now Iran's nuclear program is the most important issue as far as foreign policy is concerned, at least Salehi is fluent in the details. In addition, he speaks Arabic fluently, which may be helpful.

Overall, I believe that Salehi should be ok; that is, of course, if Ahmadinejad does not mess things up.

Muhammad Sahimi / December 15, 2010 1:22 AM

Mr. Sahimi.

Could you elaborate on why Khamenei accepted the firing? Early in the article you indicated that this has to go through him. I have read in other reports that he acquiesced. The whole article is built on the rift between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. Shouldn't we also talking about substance, I mean policy differences between them, if any?

Ali Javan / December 15, 2010 2:54 AM

More of the usual wishfulness we've come to expect from Muhammad, always imagining political weakness wherever he can from a system where such political maneuvering is fairly routine.

Admit it, Salehi is an excellent choice for the current situation, and Mottaki's removal was called for. President Ahmadinejad realized this, and unlike his relatively weak-willed predecessor, acted decisively.

Whether this makes a difference next month, we'll see. But Salehi's English (and Arabic) is clearly superior, so we'll no doubt be provided with a much better public explanation. He's also a more intelligent individual. Here's a good sample of his oratory in English (from Aljazeera):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GR3KyiXhdY&feature=player_embedded

Pirouz / December 15, 2010 3:19 AM

The best article so far on the firing of Mottaki.

Ian / December 15, 2010 3:50 AM

Dr. Sahimi:
Thank you for yet another insightful article. It appears that there is a 3 way political rift in Iran: Ahmadinejad, Khamenei, Greens. If one uses the metric of the Khatami presidential voting, then the Greens most likely constitute around 75-80% and the other 2 factions represent 20-25% of the population. I have a few questions:
1. Do you agree with the 75-80% assessment above? If not what is your estimate for the support that each faction enjoys?
2. Which faction does the IRGC pay homage to? If they lean towards AN, do you expect an IRGC coup at some point? Do you think that will result in the annulment of the valayeteh faghih principle?
3. Is there any support within the IRGC or the Iranian army for the Greens that may warrant a coup in their favor?
4. What do you think Moussavi's next move should be in order to advance the Green cause?

Thank you

Ali

Ali / December 15, 2010 5:20 AM

Much of what was expressed by Salehi in the Aljazeera interview is parallel with what Dr. Sahimi has been saying all along. In question is the "Dismissal Sign of Mounting Discord in Leadership."
Is Ahmadinejad the same President who appointed Ali Kordan (The minister with a fake degree) as his interior minister and even supported him for a while? That tells me qualifications are not on Ahmadinejad's priority lists. They are in deep DooDoo.


Niloofar / December 15, 2010 5:51 AM

Their policy seems to be self-preservation at all costs. Khamenei will fight to the last Iranian and that would probably be Ahmadinijad. Moussavi is right to point out that this all or nothing gamble is detrimental to the national interest.

pirooz / December 15, 2010 7:20 AM

Mr. Javan:

I have my analysis, others have theirs. I have no problem with others having a different perspective, and you are free not to accept mine.

Ayatollah Khamenei stood against the people and supported the "re-election" of Ahmadinejad. Therefore, if he opposes most of Ahmadinejad's moves publicly, he would be going against his own words. Clearly, he would not do that. At the same time, Ahmadinejad did the firing abruptly. Even Kayhan criticized him. Does that not tell you anything?

The very fact that Ahmadinejad seems to have defied Ayatollah Khamenei to fire Mottaki is a glaring sign of the rift between the two men. In the above article and in two previous ones I have analyzed in detail the growing rift between them, based on actual events, not speculation (even though our resident "expert" Pirouz has a different take, surprise!). In the above article I outlined Ahmadinejad's moves to take control of the foreign policy by appointing "special envoys," Ayatollah Khamenei's attempt to block him, and Ahmadinejad's retry through other means to achieve the goal. These are actual substantive events, not speculations.

Muhammad Sahimi / December 15, 2010 7:55 AM

May be Ahmadinejad uses the electoral fraud to put pressure on Khamenei. Both of them are aware of the fraud and Ahamdinejad can always argue that only Khamenei decided and organized the fraud.

Paris / December 15, 2010 1:36 PM

The firing of Motakki is another sign of the cracks in the regime and it's eventual collapse.

Incompetence is what will bring down this regime and there is no shortage of incompetence in this regime.

Mohammad Alireza / December 15, 2010 3:26 PM

Rafsanjani in his letter to Khamenei before the stolen elections explicitly warned him about the cancer(Ahmadinejad)that is threatening the power of the clergy,but Khamenei in the hope that his son Mojtaba will inherit his mantle threw his full force behind Ahmadinejad(The architect of Mojtaba the heir apparent).
All of Khamenei's trips to Quom and repeated visits to the paid ayatollahs didn't get him or Mojtaba the legitimacy that he sought.

To make a long story short,the struggle for complete power between the two gangs of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad will either result in a military dictatorship(Ahmadinejad and his thugs in the armed forces)or Khamenei if he stays alive heading a more moderate clerical regime which will blame Ahmadinejad for all the woes that the country has suffered recently.

Anonymous / December 15, 2010 4:18 PM

I think the term 'bacheh porroo' very much applies to Ahmadinejad here:
The tail is wagging the dog.

Get your popcorn ready folks. This infighting is just beginning to get interesting to watch.

Ahvaz / December 15, 2010 7:44 PM

It is enjoyable to read political articles with no dependence to any political party. Thank you Professor.

The last sentence of the artilce could be written as:
"...,an Ahmadinejad ally and wife of former Justice Minister and Abol-Mashaghe Gholam-Hossein Elham,..."

HD / December 15, 2010 10:15 PM

General Jaafari slaps Ahmadinejad? If true it is a very clear indicator as to who is the real power in Iran.

"In February 2010, an electrifying communiqué arrived in Washington from Baku. According to a local source who "has reported accurately on several sensitive political and economic issues in the past," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had surprised his colleagues at a meeting of Iran's Supreme National Security Council. The Iranian people, he said according to the source, feel "suffocated" -- a reference to the repression that followed the contested presidential election of June 2009. He then proposed relaxing restrictions on the media.

"You are wrong!" the chief of staff of the Revolutionary Guards snapped back at Ahmadinejad. "(In fact) it is YOU who created this mess! And now you say give more freedom to the press?!" And then he slapped the president in the face, the informant alleged. Some Iranian blogs had also reported that the meeting had been abruptly broken up, the US source said. But they mentioned nothing about the reason -- the alleged slap."

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,732787,00.html

Mohammad Alireza / December 17, 2010 2:33 AM

It wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility. Doubtless there is no love lost between the two. It sounds like another of Ahmadinijads attempted pranks that didn't come off. He is a bit of an artful dodger picking pockets as he goes,self-regarding and boundlessly ambitious whereas Jafari comes across as a more prissy character strictly carrying out the bidding of the SL and promoting the interests of IRGC empire.
On another note I have seen the results of an Internet Poll carried out recently by a company being developed by a group of businessmen who have no interest in Politics whatsoever and are investing in this enterprise purely for profit in other applications. The questionaire was framed in such a way as to discard most of the data leaving what the designers thought to be only the essentials. The question was asked would the respondants vote for the President now. Only a third said they would. Obviously its 18 months later. I can hear the howls already. Take it whatever way you want.

pirooz / December 17, 2010 7:05 AM

GARBAGE!!!!!

another Sahimi delusion.

a better article is the following, there are perfectly good reasons why Mottaki was fired.

http://www.payvand.com/news/10/dec/1155.html

33 years of predicting the IR is going to fall has seen them to be the region's most influential power. An american policy founded in reality would see us better off.

Anonymous / December 18, 2010 11:28 AM

Anonymous:

Anyone can be wrong, including me.

Having said that, the entire Diba article in Payvand is based on the hypothesis that Mottaki was fired because of what he said about Caspian sea. Now, that would have been a plausible argument, had he not given as reasons for his hypothesis what, for example, Dr. Ahmad Zeidabadi whom the hardliners hate and have jailed had said in 2008, or what the Mesharekat Party spokesman said that the hardliners have banned, or what Mohsen Rezaei's Tabnak said that AN despises. In other words, we are to believe that the hardliners actually care about what such people say. Besides, these people have been willing to ignore Iran's rights in the Caspian Sea for years, and we are to believe that, suddenly, they care so much that they fire their own FM in the middle of an official trip?

Today (Saturday, December 18) they had a ceremony for Salehi at the foreign ministry. Mottaki did not attend, and VP Rahimi was at lost to explain why Mottaki was fired, and why he did not attend. Caspian Sea was not mentioned. I am certain that if that were the reason, AN, Rahimi and Mashaei would have blown it way out of proportion as another sign of their newly-found nationalism

Now, compare that with the well-publicized rebuke of Ahmadinehad by Khameini about avoiding parallelism in foreign policy and his support of Mottaki last September.

I invite you to write up your well-reasoned, reality-based analysis and submit for posting, either here or elsewhere, instead of insulting others. This site considers all good articles for posting.

Muhammad Sahimi / December 19, 2010 4:37 AM

Your response clearly indicates your bias, and why you should not be writing such things.

The article goes way beyond simply the Caspian Sea.

The fact that you proclaim "these people...ignore Iran's rights in the Caspian See for years" shows two basic facts: 1-you don't take what they say in consideration, which makes your writing biased and misleading. 2-If they did not care about Iran's rights on the Caspian Sea, then, why have they not accepted LESS than 20% of the Caspian as other littoral states have offered Iran, in the past 20 years? Why insist on Iran's 20% share? I guess they care, and that makes you a writer with an agenda, thus capable of ignoring the truth.

People can read the article I have pointed out, and they can judge for themselves that the article points to many factors beyond just the Caspian, which was the last straw. It is a far better balanced article that indicates there are concrete reasons why Mottaki was fired. Realizing that Mottaki was fired for legitimate reasons would make the decision sane, which is the opposite of what you would like people to believe-that they are insane. That image helps your agenda.

Mottaki was not present at the ceremony. So, what? the guy had the intelligence of not going to his own political funeral. That does not mean he was not incompetent and was fired for good reason. That just shows how you take a simple thing and make a supreme court case of it, misleading yourself and the reader.

And I have already written my point of view. You just don't like it. So, don't invite me to stop commenting on your article. Nice try! I give you that.

Anonymous / December 20, 2010 12:54 PM

Here is another, better more balanced, view

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/camelia-entekhabifard/replace-the-icy-motakki-w_b_797355.html

Anonymous / December 21, 2010 7:52 AM


Anonymous (the latest post):

Since you post anonymously, I do not know whether you are the same as the last one or not. Assuming that you are, here is my response:

The question of whether Salehi is a better FM than Mottaki is independent of what my article discusses. In fact, the HuffPost article says the same as I do, namely, that Mottaki was imposed on AN by Khamenei, and he fired him when he was out of the country, because he did not want to give Khamenei a chance to reverse him. That was the focal point of my article, and I still stand by it, regardless of what anyone says. It is not a matter of me being biased, rather, it is seeing things the way they happen.

In fact, regardless of what I think of AN, I agree that Salehi might turn out to be a better FM. But, that is a separate issue from what my article discusses, which analyzes the motivation for what has happened as a subset of the power struggle in Iran, which is completely real.

Regarding my alleged bias: Being neutral is different from, and not the same as, being objective. I have never ever claimed that I am neutral (or unbiased) - I am not. But, being objective means that one advocates his/her views, but also allows the ideas of others to be heard, and does take them into consideration. I have tried to write my articles that way - you may not believe it, but that is the truth. And, the very fact that even insulting comments and personal attacks like yours are posted here in a website in which I play a significant role also indicates the policy of this website and the people behind it.

Muhammad Sahimi / December 22, 2010 3:37 AM

comments posted on this website have nothing to do with you. Your writing is consistent with the kind of people who would censor, given the chance, because of the forcefulness of your responses and the way you take comments so personally. You simply don't enjoy that opportunity at this time. This is an example why laws matter, and they keep us safe from people like you.
The two articles, yours and the HP's, show how two people stating some of the same points can present them differently. Yours is nothing like the tone of the HP article.
Not respecting your writing is NOT insulting you. Don't play the victim. It's not becoming of you. Take it like a girl (you know, women are stronger than men).

Anonymous / December 23, 2010 9:21 AM

Dr. Sahimi,

You feel insulted. I tell you what, I let you name me. I will use it. No political names, that's too easy. Make it good. I want to laugh. I will keep my word, and we'll call it even.

It will be fun.

Anonymous / December 23, 2010 9:35 AM

Anonymous:

I tell you honestly that I was not insulted. I just do not believe that this type of commenting on an article is constructive. Criticize my articles - or any article - as much as you want, but do it constructively so that I would take it into account and think about it. Why do you have to insult the author? The worst "sin" that he has committed is being wrong in his analysis. So what if he is wrong? It is not the first time, and won't be the last. Have you ever not being wrong?

First, it was stated that the article is garbage and my delusion. Fine. Then, an article was linked that is far more delusional, if mine ever was. Then, I was told that the readers can decide whether that article was baseless, as if I am not allowed to express my opinion. Then, the HuffPost article (which I had already read) was brought to the fore. But, that article also says the same as I do, namely, that Ahmadinejad did this against the wishes of Khamenei (the rest of it has to do with Salehi's qualifications, that I agree with, but my article was not about it, as I am preparing a profile of Salehi). Still, the HuffPost article was again sold as somehow more reality-based! In the meantime, even more evidence about what I said has surfaced (see my other article about turmoil in AN's administration).

Where is the consistency and constructiveness in all of these?

The rest of the comment is not something that I should respond to. You are simply too wrong for me to even bother responding.

Muhammad SAhimi / December 23, 2010 9:08 PM

Yet, you responded.

So we leave it as that. You would be right to assume that I have been wrong before. We all have. Thanks.

Anonymous / December 24, 2010 12:38 PM

Setting the record straight.
Dr. Sahimi,
You shouldn't have bothered to answer (Anonymous=Pirouz)since we all know that such phsycopaths feed on getting into arguments with illustrious scholars.

Anonymous(15 December posting) / December 25, 2010 12:02 AM