|Intelligence chief Heidar Moslehi offered his resignation.|
TEHRAN — Iran’s intelligence minister was caught in an apparent high-level political dispute yesterday after offering his resignation from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government but later being ordered to remain by Iran’s top leader, news reports said.
The conflicting signals over Heidar Moslehi suggested another point of friction between Ahmadinejad and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over control of key posts.
Khamenei, who has the last word on all important decisions, is considered a supporter of Ahmadinejad’s government but has stepped in before to overrule him on political appointments.
The official Islamic Republic News Agency first reported that Heidar resigned. But just hours later, several semiofficial news agencies said Khamenei opposed the resignation and said that Moslehi will continue in the post, which has played a key role in the crackdown on opposition following Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection in 2009.
Traditionally, the supreme leader must approve the appointments for the ministers of foreign affairs, intelligence, defense, and interior.