Opposition grows to appointment of new first VP

July 19, 2009 - 0:0

QOM -- The appointment of Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaii as the new first vice president has caused concern among loyalists of the Islamic Revolution, a member of the Presiding Board of the Qom Seminary Teachers Society said on Saturday.

In the current situation, when the country needs unity more than ever before, Rahim-Mashai’s appointment was not appropriate, Hojatoleslam Seyyed Mohammad Qaravi told the Mehr News Agency correspondent in Qom.
Qaravi made the remarks after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a decree appointing the director of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization as the new first vice president on Saturday.
In his appointment decree, Ahmadinejad described Rahim-Mashaii as a pious, honest, and self-made man.
In 2008, Rahim-Mashaii said, “Iran is a friend of the Israeli people” in stark contrast to Iran’s stance on the Zionist regime, and Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei criticized him for his remarks.
Majlis Energy Committee Chairman Hamid-Reza Katouzian has also criticized Ahmadinejad for his hasty selection of Rahim-Mashaii for the post of first vice president.
“Such appointments are usually made after the inauguration and authorization ceremonies, and it would have been better if this practice was also followed this time,” he told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday.
Katouzian said many religious figures and MPs are not pleased with some of his remarks and actions. Even the Supreme Leader made comments about Rahim-Mashaii and the president should have heeded these comments, he added.
“Despite all these sensitive points, Mr. Rahim-Mashaii did not even apologize, but quite the contrary, insisted on his views,” he pointed out.
Katouzian said the decision to make the appointment did not take the views of the people and the Supreme Leader into consideration.
“I think Mr. Ahmadinejad made a mistake in this appointment, and I am of the opinion that this choice will have some repercussions,” he added.
“Mr. Ahmadinejad has always showed (us) that he is 100 percent heedless in situations that are very sensitive,” Katouzian stated