Ahmadinejad changes special envoys to advisors

September 16, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Following the Supreme Leader’s advice against parallel activities especially in foreign policy areas, President Ahmadinejad has changed his decision and appointed his special envoys as advisors in international affairs.

In separate decrees, Ahmadinejad appointed Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, Hamid Baghaei, Abolfazl Zohrevand, and Mohammad-Mehdi Akhoundzadeh as his advisors for the Middle East, Asia, Afghanistan and Caspian Sea affairs respectively.
Akhoundzadeh and Zohrevand have already served in the country’s diplomatic system.
In addition, the president has appointed Seyyed Shamsuddin Hosseini, the minister of economic affairs and finance, as his advisor in African affairs, and Mohammad Abbasi, the cooperatives minister, as advisor in Latin American affairs.
In the decrees the president also set the areas of responsibility for each of his advisors and highlighted the importance of fostering ties with countries in the designated regions in order to exploit their great potential.
The advisors must also report to the president on the ongoing affairs and their decisions in that regard.
Moreover, he called on the executive bodies to act in coordination with the Foreign Ministry to serve the national and international interests of the Islamic Republic.
On September 7, 122 lawmakers wrote a letter to the president calling on him to obey the Supreme Leader’s instructions with regard to the national foreign policy and remove his special envoys.
MP Esmaeil Kosari announced on Sunday that the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has written a letter to Ahmadinejad calling on him to remove his special envoys.
Foreign Ministry officials and experts were strongly opposed to the move and regarded the appointments as interference in the work of the Foreign Ministry.