Possible Sweeping Changes in Rouhani’s Government at the Governorships

[original article in DW News]

ILNA News reported on May 13th of possible changes in Iran’s provincial governors, specifically Khuzestan, Isfahan, and Fars. Hesamodin Ashna, the media advisor to President Rouhani stated last week the “need for restoration of the Cabinet” and the dismissal of some governors. A source reported that the President’s government “made trips to a number of provinces and noticed some governors who were not performing their duties properly and soon they will be replaced with more capable individuals.” ILNA also reported that President Rouhani visited fourteen provinces in last month.

These statements have been dismissed by Abdolhassan Moghtedayi, Khuzestan’s governor, who has been in discussions [with Rouhani’s government] and is making the requested changes to how his governorship performs its political activities within his province. However, according to one political activist in Khuzestan, Moghtedayi’s decisions as governor created some disagreements between him and Rouhani’s Cabinet Ministers, Clergymen, the Minister of Industry, Mine, and Trade, and the Minister of Health.

Furthermore, reformists, political activists, and Arab cultural activists in Ahvaz have been critical of their governor.

Rasool Zargharpoor, Governor of Isfahan, states that when the reformist first came they were not eager to cooperate and a group of officials from Ahmadinejad’s government retained much greater wealth thus leading to political protests in Isfahan. Mehdi Moghadari, a spokesman for the Reformist Strategic Council of Elections in Isfahan, stressed the point that not all governors in the country were reformists. He continued to say that of all the individuals of Rouhani’s reformist staff that were assembled, Isfahan did not comply with these appointments.

Moghadari also mentioned that the people of Isfahan are satisfied with how their Governor has handled construction issues and meanwhile, the Governor has not allow the hardliners to be active and he has been under pressure from the critics of Rouhani’s government, especially towards the nuclear negotiations. As a result, the political structure in Isfahan has developed a duality. Moghadari notes that the recent changes in Isfahan appears to be the result of criticism of previous appointments.

Mohammad Ahmadi, Governor of Fars, has also made changes to his governorship and directors. Massoud Rahbari, member of the Reformist Coordination Council of Fars stated that after the attack on Ali Motahari, Tehran’s Representative in Parliament, in Shiraz (a province in Fars), the President made a trip to Fars where the news of changes within the province reaches his attention.

On Tuesday, May 12th possible changes in Rouhani’s cabinet was report. The Ministry of Interior is reported to have said that Majid Ansari is set to be introduced as their new Minister.

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