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Iran - politics

Iranian panel to investigate detainees, two ministers out

Article published on the 2009-07-27 Latest update 2009-07-27 08:56 TU

 Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohesni Ejeiem who was sacked Sunday(Photo: AFP)

Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohesni Ejeiem who was sacked Sunday
(Photo: AFP)

Iran’s parliament has set up a panel to look into the cases of hundreds of people detained last month in protests against the presidential election. On Sunday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fired his intelligence minister, and the culture minister resigned. The panel was set up on the orders of the speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani, a long-time political rival of President Ahmadinejad.
It will look into reports of some 1,000 to 2,000 people who were arrested last month after the disputed presidential election on 12 June.

The panel met for the first time Sunday, according to lawmaker Hossein Sobhani-nia, quoted by the ILNA news agency.

Meanwhile, President Ahmadinejad has been shaking up his cabinet, sacking his Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie on Sunday.

Local news agencies had reported that four ministers were dismissed, though Ahmadinejad’s office denied this. There was no official explanation for sacking Ejeie, though the Mehr news agency quoted a source saying he was let go after an argument with the president in Wednesday’s cabinet meeting over the appointment of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, who stepped down as first vice president Saturday after being appointed by Ahmadinjead a week before.

One of the three other ministers reported sacked was Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad-Hossein Saffar-Harandi, who announced his resignation late Sunday.

"Unfortunately due to the recent events which show the esteemed government's weakness, I will no longer consider myself the minister of culture and will not show up at the ministry as of tomorrow," he said in a letter of resignation, provided by the Fars news agency.

Ahmadinejad is to finalise his new cabinet after he takes office on 5 August.

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