Khamenei Opposed to Replacing Interior Minister
Several conservative websites have reported that Ayatollah Khamenei does not favor Ahmadinejad’s decision to replace the Interior Minister.
In this connection the website “Fararoo” announced yesterday, “The supreme leader has not yet approved of the president’s decision to remove the Interior Minister.” The website, while noting that the appointment and removal of ministers of foreign relations, intelligence, interior, and culture and Islamic guidance have always been impossible “without the supreme leader’s consent,” reminded its readers that, if the supreme leader continues to oppose the removal, “the President has no option but to reverse his decision.”
In this connection, the website Asr-e Iran also speculated that Interior Minister Pourmohammadi may remain at his post. Also, Farda news website speculated that “the supreme leader may oppose the decision to remove the interior minister.”
Meanwhile, the hardline Kayhan newspaper, headed by Hossein Shariatmadari, the supreme leader’s direct appointee to the Kayhan Institute, criticized Ahmadinejad’s decision to remove the ministers of finance and interior from their posts, asking the president, “How can a minister who does not know how long his term of service is, and expects to be removed every day, plan to ‘serve the nation?’”
In his editorial, Shariamatdari particularly criticized the decision to remove the Interior Minister as “requiring more thought,” writing, “In the current situation, the removal of the Interior Minister who has recently held hugely successful and historic elections and is preparing to hold the second round of the same elections, requires more thought. Is his removal under the circumstances wise?”
Regarding reasons behind Pourmohammadi’s removal, some sources cited Pourmohammadi’s report to the supreme leader regarding election irregularities as the main reason behind his hurried removal by Ahmadinejad before obtaining the supreme leader’s consent.
In this connection, the website Aftab quoted “an informed source” that “the Interior Minister, following the conclusion of the first round of elections, sent a report regarding observed election irregularities to one of the regime’s top officials [a term often used by Iranian media to refer to the supreme leader]. The president became aware of the sending of such a report a few days later and was extremely furious because of the Interior Minister’s action.”
According to Aftab, “Ahmadinejad was angry that the Interior Minister had not consulted him prior to sending the report, and made the decision to remove him for this error.”