Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Resigns in Political Rift

Posted June 21st, 2011 at 1:45 pm (UTC-5)
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Iran's deputy foreign minister quit Tuesday as his boss was facing impeachment proceedings over his appointment in a growing political rift between hardliners and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Iranian media reported that Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh resigned after 33 Iranian lawmakers signed an impeachment draft against Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

The newly-appointed Malekzadeh is facing corruption charges and lawmakers threatened to remove Salehi from office if he did not fire Malekzadeh. He is an ally of Mr. Ahmadinejad who for months has been feuding with hardliners and clerics over the direction of Iran's future.

Iran's PressTV reported Malekzadeh was replaced by Behrouz Kamalvandi who is Iran's former ambassador to Indonesia and Zimbabwe.

In his resignation letter, Malekzadeh said he could no longer suffer “dastardly manipulations and plentiful injustices” from his opponents

Also on Tuesday, state media reported Iran's parliament rejected a ministerial nominee for a youth sports ministry who had been proposed by Mr. Ahmadinejad.