Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ahmadinejad's Star is Descending

A former minister in Ahmadinejad’s administration – that of the ministry of the interior - broke ‎his silence to show that the administration's critics are not confined just to those outside the ‎administration. ‎
The recent interview of the ex-interior minister who was in charge of the ministry until 29 days ‎ago, has fueled the rise of what some call "a new front of administration critics from inside the ‎cabinet." Fararu website, which dubbed the term, noted, "Breaking the silence by ‎Pourmohammadi and the recollection of part of the untold story from his tenure at the ministry ‎was enough to signal a new message for President Ahmadinejad. The new message contained ‎news of the rise of a new front of administration critics from inside the cabinet." ‎
Former interior minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, who carries years of experience serving in ‎the ministry of intelligence had previously said, "I would never be wiling to say something that is ‎harmful to the people and I never was or am willing to say such things to make myself feel ‎better." Less than a month from that promise, however, Pourmohammadi broke his silence and ‎in an interview with Hamshahri daily which is affiliated with Tehran's municipality, retold some ‎of the untold stories from his days as an insider in the ninth administration. ‎
The minister confirmed that disagreements with Ahmadinejad played a role in his departure from ‎his department, adding, "Among the ministers, no one could take a stance against the President. ‎He [Ahmadinejad] cannot tolerate criticism." ‎
Meanwhile, pro-reform E'temad daily noted that Tahmaseb Mazaheri, the governor of the ‎Central Bank of Iran remains the most serious critic of the administration's economic policies, ‎standing up to Ahmadinejad. Although he does not voice his opposition in confrontational or ‎overtly explicit terms, his refusal to enforce the presidential order to reduce the banking interest ‎rates is an implicit warning to the President that internal criticism of those inside the cabinet has ‎finally surfaced to the public. Such criticism in the past has resulted in the removal of the most ‎prominent cabinet ministers and has pushed those who are still in the cabinet to the edge of ‎dismissal. ‎
The former interior minister is the thirteenth cabinet or senior ranking member of Ahmadinejad’s ‎administration to have parted ways with the administration during its three years. The most ‎important ministers and officials that have either resigned or been dismissed during ‎Ahmadinejad's tenure are as follows: Davoud Danesh-Jafari (minister of finance and economy), ‎Ali Larijani (head of National Security Council, Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh (oil minister), ‎Mahmoud Farshidi (minister of education), Farhad Rahbar (president of Management and ‎Planning Organization), Mohammad Bagher Zolghadr (deputy interior minister in security ‎affairs), Rahman Fazli (deputy head of National Security Council), Alireza Tahmasbi (minister ‎of industry), Ebrahim Sheibani (governor of Central Bank), Mohammad Nazemi Ardekani ‎‎(minister of cooperatives), Parviz Kazemi (minister of welfare), and Jamal Karimi Rad (minister ‎of justice).‎
As such, half of Ahmadinejad's original cabinet members are now outside the administration. ‎One can hear the echoes of what Saeed Hajjarian once said, that Ahmadinejad's administration ‎was "disintegrating" because "Iran has been thrown into anarchy." ‎
Prior to Saeed Hajjarian's comments, the website of Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper posted the ‎comments of the former minister of culture and Islamic guidance during Khatami’s ‎administration, in which Ataollah Mohajerani wrote that Ahmadinejad's star was finally ‎tumbling down.

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