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Iran's Leadership in Political Spat Over Key Post


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers a speech during an army parade marking national Army Day in front of the mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, near Tehran, Iran, April 18, 2011

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers a speech during an army parade marking national Army Day in front of the mausoleum of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, near Tehran, Iran, April 18, 2011

Two of Iran's top leaders are embroiled in a political dispute over the country's influential information minister, part of a continuing dispute over the Islamic Republic's future course.

More than 200 Iranian parliament members have signed a statement urging President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to obey an order from the country's supreme leader to reinstate Heidar Moslehi as information minister.

The statement, which was made public on Wednesday, says the president is expected to adhere to orders from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word in state affairs.

In recent months, state-run media reports have portrayed Ahmadinejad and Khamenei at increasing odds over the political and social direction of the nation.

On Sunday, Moslehi announced his resignation, which was accepted by Ahmadinejad. There was no official word on what prompted his resignation, but Iranian state media reports suggested it followed internal disputes with the president.

However, the supreme leader has rejected the minister's resignation. State-run media on Wednesday quoted Khamenei as advising Moslehi to "perform his duty" in leading the ministry, which deals with intelligence and security issues.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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