Mahmoud Ahmadinejad introduced Ali Akbar Salehi as his new foreign minister to the parliament. Salehi, who has been filling the shoes of the former foreign minister as the caretaker of the foreign ministry for over a month, will become the official foreign minister if the parliament gives him a vote of confidence.
Ali Larijani, head of the parliament announced that the proposal will be voted on next week.
Ali Akbar Salehi was Iran’s representative in the International Atomic Energy Agency in the reform government of Mohammad Khatami until last summer when he was appointed to the head of Iran’s atomic Agency.
He was born in 1950 in Iraq and pursued his education in University of Beirut and MIT. Upon return to Iran, he taught at Iran’s Sharif University.
Over a month ago, former Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki was suddenly dismissed by Ahmadinejad while on a diplomatic trip in Senegal, and Ali Akbar Salehi was appointed as caretaker of the foreign ministry.
Mottaki, who had served as foreign minister for over five years, had clashed with Ahmadinejad over the president’s insistence on appointing his own special envoys for different international missions.
Despite all efforts from the government to describe the dismissal of Mottaki business as usual, Mottaki officially denounced the “insult” he had suffered from Ahmadinejad’s rash behaviour.