Iran Row Continues: Ahmadinejad Told to Accept Minister or Resign

Khamenei's Move Raises Constitutional Crisis in Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s standoff with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has not ended, according to the latest reports. Rather, it seems to be escalating.

The dispute that began on April 17 when Ahmadinejad fired his Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi and was overruled minutes later by Khamenei has seen increasing friction between the two. It has also raised a constitutional crisis.

Under the Iranian constitution Ahmadinejad had ever right to fire a member of his cabinet. While there is no explicit law allowing the Supreme Leader any say in the cabinet, his role as the nation’s religious leader gives him de facto authority over virtually all government policy.

President Ahmadinejad responded to the move with a refusal to perform any duties for the remainder of the month, but returned to duty during a cabinet meeting on May 1. The temporary boycott led a large number of MPs to openly condemn Ahmadinejad for defying the Supreme Leader.

Now a top Ahmadinejad aide and MP is reporting that Khamenei has delivered an ultimatum to the president: accept Moslehi or resign. It is unclear when the deadline is, but this seems to be the strongest of a growing number of indications that Ahmadinejad’s days may be numbered.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.