A top aide to Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Rahim Masha’i does not consider himself the First Deputy to the president anymore.
Earlier on Friday, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei had ordered President Ahmadinejad to reverse the appointment of Esfandyar Rahim-Masha’i as his First Deputy.
Senior advisor to the Iranian president, Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi told reporters late on Friday on the sidelines of the last day of the 26th International Quran Competition in Tehran that Masha’i had said that following the Leader’s order, he did not consider himself the First Deputy to the president.
Samareh-Hashemi quoted Masha’i as saying that he was ready to serve the Revolution, the Leader and the nation in any other capacity, IRNA reported.
However Hashemi said it was not clear when the president would respond to the Leader’s official letter.
In post-election changes to his cabinet, Ahmadinejad appointed his close confidant Rahim-Masha’i as his First Deputy.
This prompted widespread condemnation from many, who objected to Rahim-Masha’i’s stated sentiments about friendship with the ‘people of Israel’.