NewsSpecial WireAnalysis: Iran President appoints allies to key posts

Analysis: Iran President appoints allies to key posts

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Nov. 17 – Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has appointed more than 30 of his former advisers and deputies from Tehran’s city council to senior posts in his new government, according to an Iran Focus tally. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 17 – Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has appointed more than 30 of his former advisers and deputies from Tehran’s city council to senior posts in his new government, according to an Iran Focus tally.

Ahmadinejad, a veteran commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), became Mayor of Tehran in April 2003, a post he held until he became Iran’s president in August of this year.

Among the hundreds of new political appointees in the new government, many share Ahmadinejad’s backgrounds in the Revolutionary Guards and, like him, moved on to executive positions while retaining their strong ties to the ideological army that has become the mainstay of clerical rule in Iran.

Ali Saeedlou, the new Vice-president for Executive Affairs, was Deputy Mayor of Tehran for finance and administration. Ahmadinejad originally nominated his long-time ally for the crucial portfolio of the Oil Ministry, but Saeedlou was rejected by Majlis (Parliament).

Mehdi Hashemi, who had been chosen for the post of Minister of Welfare and Social Security, was also rejected by the Majlis. Hashemi, who was formerly a key deputy in Ahmadinejad’s administration in Tehran, has since been appointed to the post of Deputy Interior Minister.

Several of Ahmadinejad’s former staff members have also been appointed as governors in Iran’s various provinces. These include Mohammad-Javad Mohammadi-Zadeh, who was formerly the Tehran city council’s deputy for urban services and since been appointed governor of Khorrasan Razavi Province, and Sheikhol-Islam, who was Ahmadinejad’s former chief of staff and has subsequently been appointed provincial governor of Hormozgan. Ahmadinejad has also nominated another colleague at the Tehran city council as the governor of West Azerbaijan Province.

Esfandiar Rahim Masha’ie, the former head of the Tehran city council’s Culture and Arts Organisation, has been appointed by Ahmadinejad as the Vice-president and head of Tourism and Cultural Heritage Organisation.

Hossein Ala’ie, former director of public relations in Tehran’s city council, has become a senior official in the presidential office.

Ali Abadi, a former deputy for development in the council was appointed by Ahmadinejad as a Vice-President and head of the Physical Education Organisation.

Davoud Madadi, another Tehran city council staff member in charge of investment, has been appointed as the interim Minister of Welfare.

Mehrdad Bazrpash, a youth advisor to the Tehran city council, has been elevated to the position of presidential adviser on youth affairs. Accompanying him to his new position were at least 20 subordinates who have all received government positions.

Abol-Hossein Faqih, deputy head of the council’s public relations department, has recently been appointed as head of the government-body Welfare Organisation.

Ali-Akbar Ash’ari, a cultural advisor to the Tehran city council with a past in the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), was originally nominated by the hard-line President as Education Minister, though Majlis rejected his candidacy. He now heads the National Library.

Mohammad-Ali Fatollahi, a Tehran city council advisor is now a deputy in the office of the president.

Other government posts held by former staff members of Mayor Ahmadinejad’s administration include the press, urban affairs, and women’s affairs advisors to the president.

The director of the state news agency is also a close ally of the hard-line president.

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