Iran’s president sacks 3 minister in power struggle

TEHRAN: Iran’s president has fired three key Cabinet ministers — all of who were his staunch loyalists — amid an ongoing power struggle between the parliament and his government.State radio reported on Saturday that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the three: Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi, Welfare and Social Security Minister Sadeq Mahsouli, and Industry Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian.

It’s unclear if they will be replaced and who will take the posts.A new law passed by parliament requires Ahmadinejad trim down 21 ministries to 17.A shake-up of the department in charge of the world’s fifth-biggest oil exporter, was expected after some officials said earlier this month that the oil and energy ministries and labor and social welfare ministries would be merged.No announcement was made about who will take over any new merged protfolios.There was no immediate reaction from the parliament over the sacking.Getting approval from parliament, whose speaker Ali Larijani has publicly criticized Ahmadinejad’s domestic and economic policies, will not be easy.Iran’s top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has a discretion over key ministries, including oil, foreign, intelligence and interior. – Arabnews