[QODLink]
Middle East
Iran's vice-president 'sacked'
The decision comes after Iran's supreme leader ordered the president to reverse his choice.
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2009 03:34 GMT
Mashaie has been under fire for saying Iran could be friends with anyone, including Israel [EPA]

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, has bowed to pressure and dismissed Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, his choice for the key post of first vice president, Iranian media has reported.

The decision on Friday came after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, ordered Ahmadinejad to reverse his decision regarding Mashaie who had been under fire for comments he made last year in which he was quoted as saying Iranians could be friends with anyone, including Israelis.

A senior aide to Ahmadinejad said Mashaie had accepted Khamenei's ruling and was giving up the post of first vice president.

"Following the leader's ruling, Mr Mashaie does not regard himself as the vice president," Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi, Ahmadinejad’s senior adviser, told the state news agency IRNA on Friday.

Ahmadinejad had resisted the pressure for a week before the final blow appeared to be the public reading on state television of the order issued by Khamenei to dismiss Mashaie.

"The appointment of ... Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie as vice president is against your interest and the interests of the government and will cause division among your supporters," Khamenei said in a letter to the president.

"It is necessary to announce the cancellation of this appointment."

Mashaie's appointment sparked opposition from many in Iran, including some of the incumbent president's own supporters, more than a month after Ahmadinejad's win in disputed presidential elections.

Protests

In video


Iranians abroad call for "Global Day of Action"

The issue was also the topic of the main Friday prayer sermon.  Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, a senior religious leader, called on Ahmadinejad to follow the orders of Iran's supreme leader and dismiss Mashaie.

"We support the president ... but we never said that he has no flaws," Khatami told worshippers in his sermon in Tehran, the capital.

Khatami is a member of the Assembly of Experts, the body that dismisses and appoints Iran's supreme leader.

Meanwhile, a group of students held a demonstration in the streets of Tehran on Friday to protest against Mashaie's appointment, state media reported.

"Obeying the leader's order is the demand of the nation," they chanted.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.