Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh

Two Iranian MPs say the Ministry of Intelligence opposes the appointment of Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh as deputy foreign minister.

The Fars news agency reports that MPs Ahmad Tavakoli and Parviz Sarvari said the Intelligence Ministry has written a letter expressing its opposition to the new appointment; however, the ministry has not yet confirmed this.

Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh’s appointment to the position of financial deputy of the Foreign Ministry was challenged by several conservative MPs, who accuse him of being under legal investigation.

While many sources have indicated that Malekzadeh’s appointment came by direct order of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the MPs have called for the impeachment of the foreign minister.

In the latest development of the disputes, Malehzadeh finally handed in his resignation today which was immediately accepted by the foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

Malekzadeh was formerly part of the administration of the High Council of Iranian Affairs Abroad, a government entity that was headed by the president’s chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai. The conservative elite accuses Mashai of leading a “deviant current” aimed at destabilizing the regime.

They also charge Malekzadeh with being part of this so-called “deviant current” and allege that he could face fraud charges.

Malekzadeh denies all accusations and so far has not been dismissed by the foreign minister.

The disputes reveal the diminishing power of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his close circle of supporters in the Islamic Republic establishment.

Conservative MP Ahmad Tavakoli said on a live show on state radio that all the people around Ahmadinejad are either “corrupt or deviant or both.”