Mohsen Hashemi

Mohsen Hashemi has resigned as director of the Tehran subway system, citing a lack of government co-operation.

In a letter to the mayor of Tehran, Hashemi refers to the expansion of the subway system under his supervision and adds: “Unfortunately the lines are currently operating at half capacity because wagons and equipment have been indefinitely held at customs.” He goes on to say that all efforts to release the equipment have failed, further stalling the expansion of “the vital subway service.”

Hashemi notes that the government resistance to developing the subway service may be due to the fact that he sits at the head of the organization. In that light, Hashemi calls for “the appointment of an individual to head the subway system who could achieve greater co-ordination with the government.”

Hashemi, the oldest son of Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, Chairman of Iran’s Assembly of Experts and the Expediency Council, has been the head of Tehran’s subway system since 1999 when it was first launched.

Hashemi’s resignation appears to be the latest development in the ongoing feud between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Hashemi family.

Ahmadinejad began the dispute by accusing the Hashemi family of corruption during his presidential campaign. Hashemi’s sons have pressed slander charges against Ahmadinejad.

Ayatollah Rafsanjani became a target of conservative attacks after he refused to back Ahmadinejad’s victory in 2009 elections and put his weight behind the opposition, calling for a recount of the votes and the release of political prisoners.