Friday, December 17, 2010
Publish date: December 14 • Printable version    

Iran says removal of FM will not affect foreign policy

Spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast

Iranian foreign ministry announced that the removal of the foreign minister will effect no change in Iran’s foreign policy.

Yesterday Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suddenly dismissed Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki from his post while the minister was on a diplomatic trip in Africa.

Spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in Iran: “Foreign policy is determined by particular echelons and these policies will naturally remain on the foreign ministry’s agenda.”

He added that Ali Akbar Salehi, who has currently replaced Mottaki, is “familiar with diplomatic affairs” and “well-versed in foreign policy issues.” Ali Akbar Salehi is also head of Iran’s atomic Agency.

Mehmanparast went on to say that the nuclear talks with the G5+1 will continue in the “same framework and direction” as before.

He claimed that the media reaction to the sudden removal of Manouchehr Mottaki is “an attempt to create a rift between the administration and the people” and added that Iran will not allow the media to take advantage of these changes.

The dismissal of Manouchehr Mottaki, despite earlier disputes between him and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, took Iranian establishment by surprise.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission was taken aback by the news and told reporters that the parliament was not informed of this action.

Ahmad Tavakoli, Tehran representative in the parliament observed that this turn of events shows that “the country is not governed by a stable rationality but it is instead swayed by the will of a single individual.”

Other MPs have questioned Ahmadinejad’s motives in dismissing the foreign minister while he was already on a diplomatic trip rather than waiting for his return to do so. Even state-backed newspaper, Keyhan similarly spoke out against Ahmadinejad’s hasty actions writing: "Dismissal of the foreign minister while on a diplomatic mission reveals a sudden disruption in a country’s foreign policy as well as being a blatant insult to the dismissed minister.”

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