The Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran was summarily sacked by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The unexpected moves comes as the US and allies are planning more sanctions on the regime over its nuclear program. It also comes after the assassination of two Iranian nuclear scientists.
“This moves shows not only the internal tensions but the primacy of the nuclear issue as Iran’s main foreign policy objective,” said Rasool Nafisi, an expert on Iranian affairs at Strayer University in Virginia.
A fourth round of sanctions was imposed in June in response to Iran’s refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a key part of its nuclear program that is of international concern because it can be used both for making reactor fuel and atomic weapons. Iran insists its aims are entirely peaceful, but the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency says its years of investigating have not been able to confirm that.
Manouchehr Mottaki was one of the most visible elements of the Iranian government. He was present during nuclear talks and much of Iran’s diplomacy over the last five years. There’s no doubt that Ahmadinejad did not make the decision lightly but replacing him with a loyalist will increase his power over the Islamic Republic.