Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Iran: Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki sacked

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has fired foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki, for undisclosed reasons. Mottaki, currently on an official visit to Senegal, was appointed as the country's foreign minister in 2005.

It has been said that there has not been any sign of discord between Ahmadinejad and Mottaki to indicate that the foreign minister might loose his job. Mottaki was the key negotiator in Iran's nuclear dealings with the West. Ahmadinejad has appointed Iran's top nuclear official Ali Akbar Salehi as an interim replacement for Mottaki.

There has been speculation that Mottaki's dismissal may be a strategic move among the ruling conservatives in Iran. It has also been said that Ahmadinejad did not entirely trust Mottaki who was the campaign manager for one of Ahmadinejad's election rivals, Ali Larijani.

Mattaki's firing may anger Ahmadinejad's conservative opponents in parliament, but the sacking is highly likely to have been supported by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. It may also be another indication that the supreme leader continues to back Ahmadinejad.

Source: BBC News

For more news and expert analysis about Iran, please see Iran Strategic Focus.

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