Iranian president fires 14 senior advisorsBy DPA, IANS
Sunday, January 2, 2011
TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has fired 14 of his senior advisors, the Mehr news agency reported Sunday.
One of the president’s most senior advisors and closest aide for five years, Mehdi Kalhor, confirmed the dismissals, including his own, but said he did not know the reason.
The media and cultural advisor said he and the other 13 received Sunday a letter of thanks and appreciation from the president without further elaboration.
Observers believe the dismissals might be political or a cost-cutting move. If political, it remains to be seen whether the new advisors are technocrats or more ideological.
Ahmadinejad has been criticised for appointing deputies, ministers and advisors because of their ideological leanings rather than their technical qualifications.
The dismissals come nearly three weeks after the president sacked foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki.
Mottaki was replaced by the chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali-Akbar Salehi. He is a technocrat who is more familiar with the dispute over the country’s nuclear programmes and considered more diplomatic than his predecessor.