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Director of National Museum of Iran dismissed, but report of her arrest is denied

Source: Mehr News Agency

The Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) director has dismissed Azadeh Ardakani from her post as director of the National Museum of Iran (NMI). Some Persian news websites announced last week that Ardakani had been arrested in her office. However, the CHTHO denied the report.

Azadeh Ardakani holding the Cyrus Cylinder
Azadeh Ardakani holding the Cyrus Cylinder (April 2011)

Ruhollah Ahmadzadeh immediately appointed Dariush Akbarzadeh as acting director the museum, the Persian service of CHN reported on Tuesday.

Akbarzadeh is an expert at the Iranian National Museum.

The dismissal of Ardakani was announced a day after Judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei confirmed the arrests of some CHTHO officials in connection with the conservatives' struggle against the "deviant current", a term used to refer to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaii and his entourage.

The "deviant current" is allegedly trying to undermine the role of Iran's influential clerics.

Azadeh Ardakani, Hamid Baghai and Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaii (April 2011)
Azadeh Ardakani, Hamid Baghai and Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaii (April 2011)

Microbiology graduate Ardakani, who was the English tutor for Rahim-Mashaii and then CHTHO director Hamidreza Baqaii, was appointed director of the National Museum of Iran in February 2010.

Her appointment was announced to her predecessor Mohammadreza Mehrandish, as he was driving to his office.

In early July, Ahmadinejad said that he would strongly defend his allies in the cabinet if they are arrested under any charge, calling the cabinet a "red line".

This remark was made a few days after rumors arose that the Judiciary was planning to arrest some members of the "deviant current".

The president said, "The cabinet is a red line which, if crossed, I will be compelled to fulfill my legal obligation (in this regard); otherwise the country will suffer a loss."

... Payvand News - 07/13/11 ... --

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