Jane VaynmanLarijani tries to resign, for the 5th time

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani has apparently tried to resign five times in the last few months. As in his earlier attempts, the resignation was rejected by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Why does Larijani want out? Asharq Al Awsat, a Saudi newspaper, reports that, well, Ahmadinejad is annoying.

From Mideastwire.com:

Asharq Al Awsat, an independent Saudi owned newspaper, wrote on May 21: “Dr Ali Larijani, the secretary of the Supreme Iranian national security council and the official responsible for the Iranian nuclear program, submitted his resignation for the fifth time in the last few months to the supreme guide ayatollah Ali Khameini. Iranian sources announced that his resignation came in protest against what he described in his resignation letter as the irresponsible actions and statements issued by the Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinezhad and his colleagues which obstructed the negotiations with the European Union and the procedures being implemented to contain the threats to the country and its national interests.”

The newspaper added: “Despite the fact that the supreme guide rejected Larijani’s resignation as he had done in the past, sources close to Larijani confirmed to Asharq Al Awsat that he is very upset with Ahmadinezhad’s and Mottaki’s behavior especially as Larijani considers the latter not qualified to handle the position of head of Iranian diplomacy in this critical period which calls for an experienced political and diplomatic personality capable of facing the challenges. Larijani’s disagreement with Ahmadinezhad and his foreign minister Manuchehr Mottaki came to the surface recently during Larijani’s visit to Baghdad to discuss with Iraqi officials Iran’s terms for attending the Sharm-El-Sheikh conference.”

Interesting. Perhaps Khamenei is eager to keep Larijani for counterbalance to Ahmadinejad? I last blogged in January about the Supreme Leader possibly trying to restrain the Iranian president.

Anyway, it generally seems like Ahmadinejad is good at pissing off not only foreign leaders, but also those at home. At least he is BFFs with Belarus President Lukashenko, with whom he is currently discussing cars and how much the U.S. sucks. How many bets this phrase came up over tea, “Dude, why did you give them up!


  1. abcd (History)

    This is interesting. Apparently the LA Times reported on this a month ago: “One Iranian observer, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, said that Larijani had sought to resign several times since Ahmadinejad became president but that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, did not accept his resignation.” (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran20apr20,1,6540112.story?coll=la-util-nationworld-world)

    My guess is that by refusing Larijani’s resignation, Khamenei is holding on to the last bit of credibility and political clout Iran has with the one bloc (Europe) working hardest to sincerely diffuse the standoff.

  2. hass (History)

    I think you’re reading too much into something based on an unverified rumor.

    Here’s some facts to chew on instead:

    Iranian official to the ‘Post’: We don’t want to wipe out Israel.; Muhammad Larijani says Teheran backs any deal approved by; PA, will never seek a nuclear weapon; [Daily Edition]

    DAVID HOROVITZ. Jerusalem Post. Jerusalem: May 20, 2007. pg. 01 (Copyright 2007 The Jerusalem Post)

    DEAD SEA, Jordan – In a rare, if not unprecedented conversation with an Israeli journalist, Muhammad Larijani, an Iranian politician and scientist whose brother Ali is his country’s top nuclear envoy, told The Jerusalem Post here on Friday that Teheran was not bent on wiping Israel out and that his president had been misunderstood and misreported when purportedly expressing this genocidal ambition. At a press conference on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki made similar comments, saying, “Every primary school student knows that it is not possible to remove a country from the map,” and, “We are not talking about the invasion of any country.” … Larijani also vowed at the luncheon that Iran would never abandon its nuclear program.

    “Iran is a nuclear-capable country,” he said. “This is our reality. We did it ourselves. [But] we don’t have a nuclear arsenal. We don’t need a nuclear arsenal,” he went on. “It is more a liability than an asset.” ================

    Also worth noting:

    Iran does not need nuclear weapons to protect its regional interests in the immediate neighborhood. In fact, to augment Iranian influence in the region, ithas been necessary for Iran to win the confidence of its neighbors; an effort that will inevitably suffer from such perceptions. Furthermore, with its currentstate of technological development and military capability, Iran cannot reasonably rely on nuclear deterrence against its adversaries in theinternational arena or in the wider region. Engaging in a spiraling arms race to establish and maintain nuclear deterrence would also be prohibitivelyexpensive, draining the limited economic resources of the country…

    Any nuclear activity may entail proliferation concerns. But there are internationally-agreed mechanisms to address such concerns, which apply to fuel cycle programs as well. They include the IAEA Safeguards and the Additional Protocol. In addition, experts gathered by the IAEA to address such proliferation concerns have suggested various alternatives, most notably the establishment of international and regional facilities for uranium enrichment and conversion of current facilities to such multinational schemes. Iran has been the only country, with comparable technology, that has been prepared to implement these proposals…

    (Javad Zarif, Tackling the Iran-U.S. crisis: the need for a paradigmshift, Journal of International Affairs Spring-Summer 2007 p73)

  3. Angelina (History)

    Hass-Just as I was also growing guardedly optimistic about Mottaki’s comments, Reuters nipped that in the bud:

    Iran’s Mottaki says map comments about PalestiniansSun May 20, 2007 9:35 AM ISTDEAD SEA, Jordan (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister said on Saturday he had referred to the Palestinians, not Israel, when he said a nation could not be removed from the map, the official IRNA news agency said.[snip]“In this meeting, I said that every primary school student knows that a nation like the Palestinian nation cannot be erased from geographic maps,” IRNA quoted him as saying.“What we are talking about is a regime that has an illegal basis,” he said about Israel.

  4. hass (History)

    Mottaki may have backed off that statement but read the rest of the article. This isn’t a new position for the Iranians. They’ve consistently been saying that they would abide by Palestinian agreements with the Israels since Khatami’s time, and the same thing goes for nuclear weapons.

  5. hass (History)

    …oh, and don’t also forget the Iranian peace initiative of 2003, which was also ignored.

  6. abcd

    Yes, good intentions indeed Hass:”’Unless Iran addresses long-outstanding verification issues, and implements … required transparency measures, the Agency will not be able to fully reconstruct the history of Iran’s nuclear program and provide assurances about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran or about the exclusively peaceful nature of that program,’ the report said.”http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/23/AR2007052300585.html

  7. hass (History)

    “transparency measures” = inspections in excess of Iran’s legal obligations, which Iran nevertheless allowed in the past, and has offered to permit again as long as its right to enrich is recognized. So, who is being disingenious?

  8. abcd (History)

    My guess is the IAEA since that was the language of the report. I guess you can take it up with ElBaradei next time you see him.