After a weeklong dissension among Iran’s ruling system over President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s first deputy pick, three ministers have been sacked.
Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad-Hassan Saffar-Harandi and Labor Minister Mohammad Jahromi were removed from their posts on Sunday.
Iranian media reported that Saffar-Harandi’s harsh criticism of president’s decisions about Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei, Ahmadinejad’s first vice president who withdrew after creating a weeklong political outrage in Iran, might have cost him his job.
The development comes only 8 days before the end of the 9th government’s tenure, raising the speculation that President Ahmadinejad must seek a vote of confidence for his Cabinet after more than half of the 21 total minister were replaced over the four-year term.
“In case half of the members of Cabinet are replaced, the government must seek a fresh vote of confidence from Parliament,” reads Article 136.
Mehr News Agency quoted a source, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying that Intelligence Minister Mohseni-Ejei had been also removed from office for his opposition to Rahim-Mashaei’s appointment.
Reports on Sunday claimed that Health Minister Kamran Baqeri-Lankarani was also relieved from duty. The ministry, however, denied the reports in a telephone conversation with Press TV.