Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reportedly dismissed three ministers without seeking the prior approval of Parliament, despite earlier reports in the Iranian media that Ahamdienjad had agreed to obey Parliament’s demands around ministry mergers.

Ministers of social affairs, oil and industry are said to have received official letters terminating their appointments today.

Newspapers previously had quoted conservative MP Ahmadi Tavakoli in reporting that the president had met with the parliamentary speaker and accepted parliament’s demand to be consulted on every aspect of ministry mergers. They are being carried out to reduce the number of Iranian ministries from 21 to 17.

Speaker Ali Larijani had earlier accused the Ahamdinejad administration of breaking the law by deciding which ministries would be merged and dismissing ministers without consulting Parliament.

However, Ahmadinejad had insisted that Parliament had charged his administration with reducing the number of ministries, and that’s precisely what he’d been doing.

The powerful Guardian Council supported Parliament, but apparently Ahmadinejad has chosen to show further resistance.

Ahmadinejad has faced several challenges to his authority in recent weeks. The Supreme Leader overturned his dismissal of Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi. Ahmadinejad showed his protest against Ayatollah Khamenei’s intervention by 11 days of absence from public duty byt was finally forced to back down.

Since two weeks ago all his circle of political supporters have also become target of repeated attacks by the conservative clergy and senior figures of the Islamic Republic establishment.