VP appointment pilloried

July 23, 2009 - 0:0

TEHRAN - Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi has said the appointment of Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaii as the first vice president is unacceptable.

“Certainly, the appointment of such a person has no legitimacy,” he wrote on his web site.
Having the courage to accept one’s mistakes is one of the characteristics of a good manager, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi added.
In a cabinet session in Mashhad on Saturday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a decree appointing Rahim-Mashaii, the director of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization, as the new first vice president.
In 2008, Rahim-Mashaii said, “Iran is a friend of the Israeli people” in stark contrast to Iran’s stance on the Zionist regime.
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has ordered President Ahmadinejad to dismiss Rahim-Mashaii from the post of vice president. However, he is still in office.
Rahim-Mashaii’s dismissal tests president’s commitment to velayat
Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami of the Presiding Board of the Assembly of Experts stated here on Wednesday that the situation is a test of Ahmadinejad’s commitment to velayat-e faqih (rule of the supreme jurisprudent) which he can pass by swiftly dismissing Rahim-Mashaii.
“The firm expectation of those who have voted for Ahmadinejad because of his commitment to velayat is that he (must) show his obedience to the Supreme Leader in practice,” he told the Mehr News Agency.
Khatami also pointed out that those who have supported Ahmadinejad in the election are not demanding any privileges but are firm in asking the president to comply with the Leader’s decree.
Appointment will affect Majlis-administration relations
MP Sattar Hedayatkhah of the Majlis Cultural Committee emphasized that Ahmadinejad’s insistence on appointing Rahim-Mashaii as the first vice president will affect relations between the Majlis and the administration.
“The insistence on appointing Rahim-Mashaii will affect the stance of a number of members of parliament toward the administration,” he told MNA on Wednesday.
Hedayatkhah added, “Ahmadinejad has some opponents who are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Thus, he should not give a pretext to opponents because it makes the people pessimistic about him and his administration.”
The principlist MP insisted, “The serious supporters of Ahmadinejad among the principlists do not regard Rahim-Mashaii’s retention of this post as expedient.”
Rahim-Mashaii appointment contradicts Ahmadinejad’s slogans
MP Ali Banaii stated that the appointment of Rahim-Mashaii as the first vice president runs contrary to Ahmadinejad’s slogans.
“Ahmadinejad emphasizes choosing individuals from among the (common) people while we see the reverse in practice,” he told MNA on Wednesday.
Banaii suggested that Ahmadinejad should have waited until the ceremony in which the Supreme Leader confirms him as president.
Rahim-Mashaii should be swiftly dismissed
Seyyed Reza Akrami of the Society of Combatant Clergy has stated that Mashaii should be dismissed as soon as possible.
“We do not consider Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaii as a suitable element for Ahmadinejad’s administration and believe that he should be dismissed from the (post of) vice president as soon as possible,” he told MNA on Wednesday.
Akrami emphasized, “If the view of the Supreme Leader has been stated to Ahmadinejad, the president should certainly dismiss him. Otherwise, he has disobeyed the order of the Supreme Leader.”
“The first vice president should be head and shoulders above other vice presidents and ministers in thinking, understanding, experience, and record, while this is not true for Mr. Rahim-Mashaii in relation to the others,” Akrami said.
President should respect ulema’s views
MP Avaz Heydarpour of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee pointed out that the president should have respected the views of the ulema before appointing Rahim-Mashaii.
“It would have been better for the president to respect the negative impression of Rahim-Mashaii in the Majlis and among the ulema,” he told MNA.
He also rejected the remarks posted on Rahim-Mashaii’s personal website in which he claimed that his support for the Israeli people has been the stance of the administration, saying, “This is not true at all and the Supreme Leader rejected the remarks.”
Ahmadinejad should obey Supreme Leader
Ahmad Salek of the Central Council of the Society of Combatant Clergy said Ahmadinejad should follow the order of the Supreme Leader.
Velayat-e faqih (rule of the supreme jurisprudent) is the key to the nation’s success and Ahmadinejad should firmly hold onto this key, he told MNA.
Commenting on the claim made on Rahim-Mashaii’s website that the opposition to the appointment is out of “jealousy”, Salek insisted those who are opposed to his appointment as first vice president are all more empathetic than Rahim-Mashaii.
Rahim-Mashaii’s website has insisted that the opposition to his appointment is due to “jealousy or ignorance.”
President has violated main tenet of principlism
MP Seyyed Hossein Naqavi has stated that Ahmadinejad’s delay in dismissing Rahim-Mashaii violates the main tenet of principlism, which calls for obedience to the leadership.
Naqavi added, “This appointment was even against the will of Ahmadinejad’s supporters and they sharply reacted to the issue.”
Ahmadinejad was expected to demote Rahim-Mashaii in the new administration, he told MNA on Wednesday.
No reason to dismiss Rahim-Mashaii
Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad has said there is no reason to dismiss Rahim-Mashaii.
“Mr. Rahim-Mashaii is one of Iran’s innovative, empathetic, and pious managers and why should he resign,” the president’s website said on Wednesday.