September 23, 2019

Iran foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki sacked

Manouchehr Mottaki - now he is sacked he won't get to sit at the United Nations. Wonder if he gets to keep the little flag?

Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sacked his Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in a surprise move that is linked to internal power struggles between conservatives and liberals in Iran’s ruling party.

There had been no indication that Mr Mottaki was about to lose his job. In a statement released to the media President Ahmadinejad said “I appreciate your diligence and services as the foreign minister.” But I would appreciate it more if you just went away.

President Ahmadinejad has appointed Iran’s top nuclear official, Ali Akbar Salehi, to take over from Mottaki in a cartaker role. It is unclear at this stage if Salehi will get any extra funds in the January transfer window to bolster his squad.

It is not surprising that Salehi has been put in the job for now, because nuclear power and weapons is pretty much all the world wants to talk to Iran about these days anyway. It is a bit like cutting out the middle man and going straight to Mr. Nuclear himself.

Mr Mottaki was not in the country at the time of his sacking. He was on an official visit to Senegal.

Mr Mottaki was appointed foreign minister in 2005. He was the campaign manager for one of Ahmadinejad’s rivals Ali Larijani (who is the speaker of parliament), which is not really a good starting point for a lasting partnership with Ahmadinejad based on trust and respect.

Iran insists it wants only atomic energy but a number of Western countries suspect it of trying to build nuclear weapons. Mr Salehi, understandibly an enthusiastic supporter of Iran’s nuclear programme now gets to talk about it to world leaders as well as his wife and close associates.