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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Iran starts to lose faith in its hardline President

Independent:iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is facing a crisis of public confidence after his nominee for oil minister was forced to withdraw in the face of accusations of corruption.

The storm over the appointment, the most important and lucrative in Iran's cabinet, is the latest in a series of controversies to engulf the President. His political inexperience, unorthodox beliefs and trust in untested religious conservatives is causing widespread concern in Iran.

Sadeq Mahsouli was the third name the President has put forward for the oil ministry job since taking power in August. Like the others, he was forced to back down by the parliament, which now routinely challenges the President ­ despite hailing from his own political camp.

Several MPs told the Iranian media that lack of experience was the least of Mr Mahsouli's worries. One lawmaker, Ali Asgari, told the official Irna news agency that parliament wanted to question the nominee on how he had amassed a fortune to become a "billionaire general".

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