Ali Akbar Salehi

Ahmadinejad’s choice of foreign minister was approved by a narrow margin in Iran’s parliament after his predecessor, Manouchehr Mottaki, was abruptly dismissed last month while he was on a diplomatic mission in Africa.

Ali Akbar Salehi received 146 votes from the 243 MPs that voted on his competence for leading the foreign ministry.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for better cooperation between government and parliament and added that “the structure of the foreign ministry needs to develop with the historic mission of the Iranian nation.”

Ali Motahari, an opponent of Ali Akabar Salehi’s appointment said that Salehi is not capable of resolving the problems in the structure of the foreign ministry.

“There is nothing but sloganeering in Salehi’s program,” another lawmaker, Mostafa Kavakebian said; “He has no expertise in foreign policy.”

Former foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, who was seen as a close ally of Ahmadinejad’s conservative rival Ali Larijani, speaker of the parliament, was dismissed last month after several disputes with the president.

“I believe Iran can intelligently organize its diplomatic relations with the world,” Salehi told the parliament; “We are ready to improve our relations based on mutual respect."