Iranian President renames post of Special Representative for Caspian Sea Affairs to Adviser
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has renamed the post of the Special Representative for Caspian Sea Affairs to Adviser and deputy foreign minister Mohamed Mehdi Akhundzadeh has been appointed to the position, the Fars news agency reported.
Akhundzadeh replaced Mehdi Safari in the renamed position. Earlier, Safari was appointed as Iran's new ambassador to China.
The Caspian Sea countries are Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran. In November 2003, the Caspian countries signed the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea. In July 1998, Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian Sea in order to exercise sovereign rights for subsoil use. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea on Nov. 29, 2001 and Feb.27, 2003. Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia signed an agreement on the delimitation of adjacent sections of the Caspian Sea on May 14, 2003.
Ahmadinejad also renamed the posts of Special Envoy for the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Afghanistan to Adviser.
Last month, Ahmadinejad appointed Presidential Apparatus head Isfandiyar Rahim Meshai to the post of Special Envoy for the Middle East, Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization Chairman Hamid Begai to the post of Special Envoy for Asia, Economy Minister Shamsaddin Husseini to the post of Special Envoy for African Issues, Corporation Minister Mohammad Abbasi to the post of Special Envoy for Latin America and Adviser to the Supreme National Security Council Chairman Abulfazl Zohravandi to the post of Special Envoy for Afghanistan. These posts have now been renamed to Adviser.
Local media have reported that the Iranian president and his team have been accused of acting out of line with the parliament and the foreign ministry, for which he was criticized by supreme Iranian Spiritual Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Ahmadinejad appointed five people to the post of special representative without agreeing it with the foreign ministry.