Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the man who predicted, promised, or advocated that Israel be "wiped off the map," has just been knee-capped for being soft on Zionism:
Iran's supreme leader ordered the president, a close ally, to dismiss his controversial choice of a top deputy for making pro-Israeli remarks, the semiofficial media reported Wednesday. The move marked a rare split among the country's top conservatives.
The order is a humiliating setback for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has strongly defended his decision to appoint Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, his son's father-in-law, as his first vice president.
Mashai angered hard-liners in 2008 when he said Iranians were "friends of all people in the world - even Israelis." Mashai was serving as vice president in charge of tourism and cultural heritage at the time. Iran has 12 vice presidents, but the first vice president is the most important because he leads Cabinet meetings in the absence of the president.
The question, of course, is whether Mashai irritated the mullahs for suggesting that Iranians were friends with Israelis, or that Israelis are people. The linked article is not clear on the point, and either explanation is plausible in the Islamic Republic.
MORE: Ahmadinejad smacks back!