Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has denied rumours that he is planning to remove his vice president and interior minister.

ISNA reports that on Wednesday January 2, on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting, Ahmadinejad responded to reporters’ questions about the rumoured dismissal of the two figures in his government, saying: “There is no such thing; I am hearing this from you.”

He added, however: “We are in the service of the people, and if the coach decides to make a replacement, it is all in the interest of his team.”

He stressed that his actions have always been open and all matters will be officially reported.

A number of Iranian news sources had reported that Ahmadinejad is planning to replace Vice President Mohammadreza Rahimi with Gholamhossein Elham.

Government critics have accused Rahimi of financial corruption and repeatedly called on Ahmadinejad to remove him and allow for his prosecution. Rahimi has denied all charges.

Other news outlets have also reported that the interior minister could be replaced by someone more in tune with the Ahmadinejad team.

Experts say Ahmadinejad is trying to find ways of retaining some influence in government, as he will not be eligible to run in the 2013 elections after his two consecutive terms as president.