Farhad Daneshjoo

The chair of Iran’s Open University board of directors announced today, Wednesday September 18, that Farhad Daneshjoo is stepping down from the helm of the Open University and Hamid Mirzadeh has been elected to fill Daneshjoo’s shoes by a majority vote of the board.

Iranian media report that Yasser Hashemi Rafsanjani told reporters that the decision to replace the university leader came after a consideration of the future and interests of the institution.

Farhad Daneshjoo, the brother of Kamran Daneshjoo, the minister of science and technology in the Ahmadinejad administration, had held the top post at Open University for one and a half years amid some controversy.

The university board of directors had already stated that it had reservations about the man who held the top position at the university.

Board chairman Yasser Hashemi is the son of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of the Expediency Council, who has been a staunch critic of the Ahmadinejad administration.