Ahmadinejad Fires 14 Advisers in Major Shake-up
by MUHAMMAD SAHIMI
02 Jan 2011 22:34
Davood Danesh Jafari, Mojtaba Rahmandoust, Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh (Homepage: Mehdi Kalhor)
Mashregh, the website that is close to Iran's fundamentalists and security forces, has reported that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has suddenly fired 14 of his advisers. They include Mehdi Kalhor (adviser for the press), Abolfazl Tavakkoli Bina and Mohammad Reza E'temadian (advisers for commerce), Davood Danesh Jafari (adviser for economic affairs and former first vice president), Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh (adviser for oil and gas former minister of oil), Mojtaba Rahmandoust (adviser for the war veterans), Sousan Keshavarz (adviser for education), Brigadier General Sattar Vafaei (adviser for fairness and service), Ali Akbari (adviser for the youth), Mehdi Chamran (adviser for city councils), Brigadier General Mohammad Rouyanian (adviser for fuel transportation), Ali Montazeri (adviser for universities, no relation to the late Grand Ayatollah Montazeri), Ali Asghar Zarei (adviser for cultural affairs), and Mehdi Mostafavi (adviser for Islamic culture and foreign relations and an officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and Qods Force member).
Of these, Kalhor has been an ardent supporter of Ahmadinejad's. Chamran played a key role in the appointment of Ahmadinejad in 2002 as Tehran mayor that was the beginning of his rise to prominence. Vaziri Hamaneh was fired as oil minister when he proved unwilling to appoint Ahmadinejad's men in key posts, and Danesh Jafari was forced out as first vice president in 2009. Tavakkoli Bina is a member of the Islamic Coalition Party, a conservative group that has been criticizing Ahmadinejad. E'temadian is currently hospitalized and has said that he discovered that he had been fired when he received a letter from the president, thanking him for his service and telling him that he had been sacked.
The most noteworthy aspect of this group firing is that most of those who were dismissed are trusted by the Osoolgarayan (Principlists) and hardliners. For example, Danesh Jafari is a disciple of Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi, the ultra-reactionary hardline cleric. Mostafavi is a hardline Revolutionary Guard officer. While it is still too early to say, the new firings may represent another chapter in the power struggle between Ahmadinejad and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, on the one hand, and those that are close to Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, on the other. Many of the people fired have been critical of Mashaei.
Copyright © 2011 Tehran Bureau
Iran's President Fires 14 Advisers: Report
AP (via Times of India) | Jan 2
The Sunday report from mashreghnews.ir says Ahmadinejad sacked the advisers a day earlier in an effort to help reduce the size of the government. The dismissals have not been confirmed by state media or the president's office.
Last month, Ahmadinejad abruptly fired his longtime foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, as well as his vice president for youth affairs, Mehrdad Bazrpash.
Related reading by Muhammad Sahimi | Abrupt Mottaki Dismissal Sign of Mounting Discord in Leadership | Turnover and Turmoil in the Ahmadinejad Administration