An Iranian army general Sunday replaced a top aide to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a key interior ministry post in charge of organizing elections, state broadcasting said.
Armed forces spokesman General Alireza Afshar took over the job of deputy interior minister for political affairs from Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi, one of the president's closest advisors.
According to the report on the Web site on Iran's rolling news channel, Hashemi said: "The reason I am leaving this job is that I was too busy."
Hashemi, who has known Ahmadinejad since university, served as his top advisor while he was Tehran mayor, and is still rarely seen far from his side. He will remain in his other post as top advisor to the president.
The post of deputy interior minister is important because it is charged with organizing elections in Iran, a position that gives a say in how the process is run.
The country's next crucial election will be March 14, 2008.
Iran's deputy interior minister for political affairs also has some control over all 30 provincial governors-general, and chairs a supervisory board which issues licenses for political parties and NGOs.
Like Ahmadinejad, Afshar has a background in Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, and served as spokesman for the force during the 1980 to 1988 war with Iraq, state media said.
Mohammad Baqer Zolghadr is the other deputy interior minister, in charge of security affairs. Previously, he was a deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards.
Interior minister Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, a mid-ranking cleric, is a former deputy minister of intelligence.
Last Mod: 26 Ağustos 2007, 19:22