Kordan serves 90 days as MP
Ahmadinejad's hands are tied
Photo: AP
Iranian interior minister sacked over fake degree
Director-general of president’s office tries bribing parliament representatives to prevent interior minister's dismissal, which comes as another political blow to President Ahmadinejad
The Iranian Parliament (Majlis) dismissed its Interior Minister Ali Kordan after he confessed to having forged an academic degree from Oxford University, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday.


During Tuesday’s parliamentary meeting, 188 MPs voted in favor of his dismissal, 45 voted against and 14 abstained.


This is yet another political loss for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who heads the government in Iran, where the parliament approves its ministers in accordance with the constitution.


When Kordan’s appointment was brought to the Majlis, 169 MPs supported him. However, he managed to serve for solely 90 days.


In the last week, a political storm ensued after an official Ahmadinejad representative was dismissed following the cash offer he made to MPs in an attempt to convince them to torpedo the Interior Minister’s release.


Mohammad Abbasi, director-general of the president’s office in the Iranian Parliament, tried to silence them when he offered the sum of $5,000 for building mosques and simultaneously submitted a letter expressing his opposition to dismissing the minister.


Abbasi, whose main job was to coordinate between the government and parliament, was involuntary released of his duties last Saturday, “after he tried to acquire signatures to cancel the release of the Interior Minister under the guise of governmental assistance for building mosques.”


At the beginning of the week, President Ahmadinejad dealt with the issue and said, “This was the mistake of one man.”


He added that since he does not agree with the dismissal of the Interior Minister he does not intend on participating in this week’s meeting which will discuss the issue and called it an, “illegal” dismissal.


Elections: Political pressure intensified

This case has only intensified the existing political pressure in Iran as the political camps begin preparing for presidential elections next summer.


Ahmadinejad, who is expected to run for another term but has not yet announced his intention to do so, will find difficulty in the current political situation to enlist wide-ranging support for a second term.


However, Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed his support of Ahmadinejad’s government and called upon it to prepare for a five-year term.


In Iran, the spiritual leader is the supreme authority in everything concerning the state and it is likely that his support will affect some of the contemplators.


The Iranian president has had a difficult few weeks. It has been recently reported that Ahmadinejad has been suffering from exhaustion and that this may prevent him from running again, but he quickly reverted to his evil ways.


In addition to searching for a new interior minister, he will need to deal with the rising internal criticism on the rising inflation, unemployment and decrease in oil prices which dramatically affect the Iranian state budget.


In the meantime, the only person to officially announce his candidacy is Reformist Mehdi Karroubi, the former speaker of the Iranian parliament, who already ran and lost in the 2005 presidential elections.

Tehran’s conservative Mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf is expected to try his luck once again and run.


This time he will do so from a great vantage point, since as recalled, Ahmadinejad became president following his service as mayor of Tehran.


The biggest question surrounds the candidacy of former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, who has not yet decided if he will run on behalf of the Reformists.


פרסום ראשון: 11.04.08, 14:58
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