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Khamenei tells Ahmadinejad to drop VP choice: MP

Press TV - A senior Iranian parliamentarian says the Leader of the Islamic Revolution has advised the president to reverse his decision in appointing Esfandyar Rahim-Masha'i as his top deputy.

"Without any delay, the removal or acceptance of Masha'i's resignation must be announced by the president," Mohammad-Hassan Aboutorabi-Fard, the first Majlis vice speaker, told the Iranian Students News Agency on Tuesday.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was re-elected for a second four-year term in a disputed presidential vote in June, came under fire from some of his staunchest allies by appointing Masha'i as his vice president.

Aboutorabi-Fard said the viewpoint of Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, on the issue had been forwarded to the president in a letter.

"The removal of Rahim-Masha'i from key positions and presidential deputies is the collective decision of the political establishment."

Masha'i, whose daughter is married to Ahmadinejad's son, is a controversial figure in Iran for remarks attributed to him that the Iranian people are friends with Israelis.

Although Iran has 12 vice presidents, only the first vice president can lead Cabinet meetings in the absence of the president.

Shortly before Aboutorabi's remarks, Ahmadinejad's senior adviser said there would be no re-examination of Masha'i's appointment.

"Opposition to his [Masha'i's] appointment does not have compelling reasons behind it to prompt a review of his appointment," Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi said.

While Ahmadinejad does not need Parliament approval for appointing vice presidents, many members of the Majlis have expressed opposition to Masha'i's appointment.

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