Ex-FM refutes Iranian president’s statement (UPDATE)
Former Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki drefuted the statement made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a press conference in Istanbul. Ahmadinejad said Mottaki had been informed of his impending resignation, the Mehr news agency reported.
He named the resignation implemented in such a way as insulting and damaging to the diplomatic and political image of the country.
In response to a BBC correspondent's question on the resignation of Mottaki, President Ahmadinejad said Mottaki was aware of his resignation before his trip to Africa.
"I briefed Mottaki on this decision before his departure," he said. "I do not know the reasons why he refuses to acknowledge it."
Mottaki said that before his recent trip to Senegal as a Foreign Minister he was not informed of this decision. However, the Iranian president was aware of two upcoming official visits, which took place from Dec.12-15.
"I heard about my resignation on Monday from the official representatives of Senegal, during a meeting with them," he said.
Mottaki urged the Iranian authorities to adhere to the real facts.
On Dec, 18, at the presentation ceremony of new Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said "Mottaki's resignation was not spontaneous, it was planned, and even Mottaki told the President about his desire to work for another office."
In a decree issued on Dec.13, President Ahmadinejad dismissed Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki from his post and appointed Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Director Ali Akbar Salehi as acting foreign minister.
Mottaki served as Foreign Minister for nearly seven years. He was appointed to the post during the first term of Ahmadinejad's presidency. At the time of dismissal, Mottaki was on an official visit to Senegal.