Iran purges Intelligence Ministry officials

Last Updated: Monday, August 10, 2009 - 21:50

Tehran: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has
fired at least four senior Intelligence Ministry figures in a
purge targeting officials who disagreed with the crackdown on
the opposition after last month`s disputed presidential
election, lawmakers and media said today.

The dismissals came after Ahmadinejad fired his
intelligence minister, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, late last
month and marked a strengthening of the president`s hold on
the powerful ministry.

Ahmadinejad has served as temporary caretaker of the
ministry pending the formation of his new government, expected
within days.

Ahmad Avai, a conservative lawmaker, accused
Ahmadinejad of "settling scores" against officials he
considers sufficiently loyal. Avai was quoted in several
Iranian newspapers today saying parliament was considering a
probe into the dismissals.

Iran is holding its biggest political trial in
decades, trying around 100 people, including many top
politicians from the pro-reform opposition on charges they
plotted to overthrow the government through a "velvet
revolution" using massive street protests following the June
12 election.

Several top defendants have made televised confessions
to the plot during the trial. The opposition says the
confessions were forced.

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, August 10, 2009 - 21:50

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