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Archive for Monday, August 3, 2009

2 ministers forced to leave Cabinet

August 3, 2009

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— Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fired his intelligence minister, and his culture minister resigned under pressure Sunday as further rifts emerged in his camp with just days to go until his controversial inauguration for a second term.

Although Ahmadinejad has frequently replaced his cabinet members over the past four years, Sunday’s firing and resignation were significant because both Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei and Culture Minister Mohammad Hossein Saffar Harandi are especially close to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, analysts say.

Taken together, the moves suggest deep unhappiness within Ahmadinejad’s inner circle at a time when the government is still reeling from the impact of a weeks-long campaign by the opposition to overturn the results of June’s disputed election, in which Ahmadinejad was declared the winner in a landslide.

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