Tehran, July 19 (Reuters): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has come under fire from leading hardliners for naming as his top deputy a man who said Iran was friends with everyone, including arch foe Israel, local media said today.
Irans state-run English language Press TV said Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie no longer wanted the job of first Vice-President and had resigned because of the row.
Analysts say Ahmadinejads decision to appoint Mashaie, to whom he is related by marriage, suggests that the President has a small entourage of people he trusts.
In a rare public criticism, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, an Ahmadinejad ally and member of Irans top legislative body, said today that Ahmadinejad had shown a twisted face to clerics and elites by appointing Mashaie.
UK official released
Iran released local British embassy employee Hossein Rassam on bail today, his lawyer said, three weeks after he was detained on charges of inciting unrest following the countrys disputed presidential election.