Leaders of Iran

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Khamenei, Rafsanjani, Moussavi 1984 Cabinet Reshuffle

TIME Magazine Archive Article -- Who's Up, Who's Down -- Aug. 27, 1984: "Who's Up, Who's Down

Aug. 27, 1984

Eager to show there was support for his policies, Prime Minister Mir Hossein Moussavi asked Iran's parliament last week to give him and his government a vote of confidence.

What Moussavi got instead was a split decision: he and 15 Cabinet ministers won approval, but five officials, including Defense Minister Muhammad Salimi, were dismissed. Salimi's ouster was not tied to the conduct of Iran's four-year war with Iraq, since military strategy rests with Iran's generals and Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini's inner circle. Instead, Salimi was accused of not weeding out waste in the country's defense budget.

In addition, Salimi and another cashiered minister belong to an ultraconservative Shi'ite Muslim group that has been critical of Khomeini's policies. The shake-up apparently was engineered by Parliamentary Speaker Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who believes that such dissent is divisive. Rafsanjani's maneuver may show that in the rivalry between him and President Seyed Ali Khamenei, Rafsanjani is winning. "He has Khomeini's ear," said a senior Iranian official. "By forcing a Cabinet reshuffle, he just demonstrated who is boss.""

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