Saturday, August 13, 2005

Former Prime Minister Mousavi Rejects to join Ahmadinejad

Rooz Online:
Former Prime Minister Mir-Hussein Mousavi, who also served as Khatami's senior advisor during his eight-year presidential term, rejected Ahmadinejad’s offer to remain a senior advisor to the president.

This decision is in tune with that of Islamic Iran Participation Party’s (IIPP) position to not participate in key positions of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government. This move has prompted a request by the IIPP to the other 18 pro-reform groups (belonging to the 2nd of Khordad movement) not to join Ahmadinejad. This is a difficult decision for members and affiliates of Kargozaran party, as compared to the other reformist groups. READ MORE

It is said that the IIPP is the only group to explicitly ask its members in an internal statement to reject any position in the new government even at the general management level. This decision however, has already been coolly received by two of the key members of the Sazemane Mojaheddine Engelabe Esmali (Islamic Revolution Mojaheddin Organization). Other pro-reform groups are said to prefer not to join the boycott in an effort to keel their government posts.

Kargozaran Party has occupied a rather unique position in Iranian politics, especially recently. Some of its members have come under strong attack and have been withdrawing form their positions. Hashemi Rafsanjani's sons, for example, resigned from their government posts (managing director of Tehran's Metro and Improving Fuel Company).

Hussein Maraashi resigned from his chairmanship of Iran's Tourism and Cultural Heritage Organization. Ataollah Mohajerani and Gholam Hossein Karbaschi, former Tehran Mayor, too had left the government, denying the organization any access to the key posts of the previous government.

Those members of the pro-reform groups that are objecting such withdrawals and resignations from government and government affiliated positions fear being accused of opposing the regime. There are two analysis of the situation among the reformists inside the system. Some believe that the new government will not remain as hardline as it seems and that there will not be drastic changes in the top management posts, as has been reiterated by heads of the Jebhe Mosharekat (i.e. the Coalition Party).

The latest rumors have it that the majority of Ahmadinejad's cabinet posts have been identified and they do not come with heavy managerial backgrounds or experience. Conservatists and hardliners however have been emphasizing that at least the oil and economy posts be filled with seasoned politicians. The president’s plan seems to be to present his entire cabinet to the Majlis after all the bargaining has been done so no differences are then projected out to the public.