Sunday Mar 25, 201206:01 PM GMT
Iran's FM picks new deputy amid uproar
Behrouz Kamalvandi has been appointed as deputy foreign minister for administrative and financial affairs.
Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:40PM
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Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has appointed Behrouz Kamalvandi as his new deputy for administrative and financial affairs.

Kamalvandi replaces Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, whose nomination sparked controversy and drew criticism from senior Iranian officials.

“With regard to the sincere services and valuable experience you have displayed in different posts, you are appointed as the administrative and financial deputy,” read a decree that announced Kamalvandi's appointment, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

Kamalvandi is Iran's former ambassador to Indonesia and Zimbabwe and served two terms as the director general of the Iranian Foreign Ministry's administrative, supervisory and evaluation affairs.

Prior to his nomination as deputy foreign minister, Kamalvandi served as the deputy foreign minister for the Americas.

Salehi's latest pick comes amid an uproar over his earlier nomination of Malekzadeh as his deputy.

The move drew sharp criticism from Iran's Intelligence Ministry, which called on Salehi to swiftly dismiss Malekzadeh, citing his criminal record.

On Tuesday, 33 Iranian lawmakers also submitted an impeachment draft for Salehi, under which the foreign minister would have to defend himself at the Parliament (Majlis) over his decision.

Meanwhile, Malekzadeh submitted his resignation to Salehi on Tuesday in an apparent attempt to avert a motion seeking the foreign minister's impeachment.

Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, however, has made it clear that the impeachment effort will go forward as planned unless legislators move to withdraw their impeachment motion against Salehi.

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