Mahmud Ahmadinejad has appointed six presidential advisers for foreign affairs.
The half-dozen are former presidential envoys to the Middle East, Asia, and
Afghanistan who were appointed by Ahmadinejad -- reportedly to some
consternation -- only earlier this month.
The change to their titles comes after protests by lawmakers and former diplomats and also criticism from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, who had warned against parallel activities in foreign affairs and other areas.
Ahmadinejad's deputy for political affairs, Mohammad Jafar Behdad, said the president followed the supreme leader's guidance and therefore the status of the special envoys was changed.
So did the famously combatant Iranian president retreat?
Rasool Nafisi, an Iran expert and professor at Strayed University, told Persian Letters that the move is "a typical Ahmadinejad tactic":
Ahmadinejad pulled one of his habitual tactics when faced with open criticism from Iran's leader, Ali Khamenei, about sending emissaries to different continents: Instead of canceling the plan, he simply changed its title. The Iranian president's initiative of sending envoys paralleling the Foreign Ministry without consulting with Khamenei was another of his bold moves -- like sending letters to the heads of state in Europe and the United States. He got slapped on the wrist, of course.
Many reformists say privately that they wished former President Muhammad Khatami had such courage, forgetting that Khatami was the leader of a de facto loyal opposition, while Ahmadinejad comes from the core of the state coercive apparatus, meaning the IRGC's Qods force...
In any case, what is clear is that Ahmadinejad is interfering in areas that presidents before him had not entered. More importantly is that we're witnessing an astonishing change in the Foreign Ministry -- the morale of the staff is very low , their situation is uncertain, and we see that those who have an opportunity to cut their ties to the system do it as soon as they can.
... Payvand News - 09/17/10 ... --