Iranian foreign minister fired

While traveling in Africa, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was abruptly fired today: The president thanked Manouchehr Mottaki for his more than five years of service — spanning Ahmadinejad’s entire time in office — but gave no explanation for the change in a brief statement on his website. He named nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi, ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
560696_mottaki_12.jpg
560696_mottaki_12.jpg

While traveling in Africa, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was abruptly fired today:

The president thanked Manouchehr Mottaki for his more than five years of service — spanning Ahmadinejad's entire time in office — but gave no explanation for the change in a brief statement on his website. He named nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi, who is also one of the country's 12 vice presidents, to serve as caretaker foreign minister.

The speculation is that Mottaki was fired for a combination of factors including a brewing power-struggle with Ahmadinejad and his failing efforts to improve Iran's image at international meetings: 

While traveling in Africa, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was abruptly fired today:

The president thanked Manouchehr Mottaki for his more than five years of service — spanning Ahmadinejad’s entire time in office — but gave no explanation for the change in a brief statement on his website. He named nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi, who is also one of the country’s 12 vice presidents, to serve as caretaker foreign minister.

The speculation is that Mottaki was fired for a combination of factors including a brewing power-struggle with Ahmadinejad and his failing efforts to improve Iran’s image at international meetings: 

In the past year, there were reports that Mottaki opposed a decision by Ahmadinejad to appoint his own special foreign envoys to key areas such as the Middle East, Afghanistan and the Caspian Sea region. Mottaki found the appointments embarrassing to the foreign ministry and allegedly took his complaint to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters.

Khamenei reportedly sided with Mottaki, forcing Ahmadinejad to moderate his position and change their title only to the level of advisers.

Iranian media have also reported in the past year that some lawmakers were pushing for Mottaki to be dismissed, arguing that he failed to adequately defend Iran at international organizations such as the United Nations. Iran is scheduled to hold another round of talks with world powers early next year over its disputed nuclear program.

The Cable’s Josh Rogin recently reported on Mottaki’s appearance the Manama Security Dialogue in Bahrain.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Iran

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