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IRAN: Fired former Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki lets loose on Ahmadinejad

December 19, 2010 |  7:25 am

Iran's former former minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who was abruptly fired last week while on a diplomatic mission to Senegal, is mad as hell and isn't gonna take it any more.

Iran-mottaki-epaIn an unusually harsh criticism of his former boss, Mottaki called his dismissal by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "insulting" and "anti-Islamic."

He was replaced by Ali Akbar Salehi, the former head of Iran's nuclear program, who was feted at a reception Saturday that was supposedly in Mottaki's honor.

Mottaki blew off the reception. Instead he sent a blistering text to Iranian media denying an Ahmadinejad aide's claim that he was aware that he was about to get canned.

"I was not informed about my replacement within 24 hours after I left for a trip and what is more ridiculous is the date set for the farewell and introduction ceremony," he said, according to numerous news agencies.

He called the manner of his dismissal "insulting and not according to diplomatic protocols."

Mottaki must have been pretty humiliated to find out he was getting the boot while he was abroad on a diplomatic assignment. He was likely trying to smooth over a rupture in ties with Dakkar following the seizure of a clandestine Iranian arms shipment in Nigeria last month.

Even official state news outlets such as Press TV, which usually serve as supplicants to Ahmadinejad, have reported Mottaki's criticism.

Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, a political ally of Mottaki, also criticized Ahmadinejad, saying the firing would lead to "inappropriate judgments" about Iran, in an address to lawmakers. "This should have been done in a more prudent manner, while respecting his dignity," Larijani said.

-- Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

Photo: Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki talking on a cellphone at the presidential palace in Tehran. Credit: ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH / European Pressphoto Agency

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