Iran`s President promotes controversial aide

Last Updated: Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 10:12

Tehran: Iran`s president has promoted a controversial aide to a high-profile post in a move widely viewed as an attempt to boost the adviser`s profile ahead of his expected candidacy in next year`s presidential elections.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday appointed Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei the head of the secretariat of the Non-Aligned Movement, the bloc of developing nations Iran currently heads.

The post gives Mashaei much-needed international experience.

Ahmadinejad cannot run in Iran`s presidential elections in June because of term limits, and he is widely believed to be grooming Mashaei as his successor.

The move is seen as a challenge to Iran`s powerful hardliners, who denounce Mashaei as the head of a "deviant current" that they say seeks to undermine the country`s ruling Islamic system.


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First Published: Sunday, December 2, 2012 - 09:56

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