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News number: 8804260532

14:52 | 2009-07-17

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First Changes for Ahmadinejad's 2nd Term

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed his close confidante Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei as his new First Deputy.



Mashaei served as the head of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization before receiving the elevation.

Prior to the tourism portfolio, Mashaei was the head of Tehran Municipality's Cultural and Art Organization during Ahmadinejad's mayoralty. Mashaei also served for a while as a deputy interior minister.

The appointment, announced last night in northeastern city of Mashhad, is considered as part of a cabinet reshuffle promised by Ahmadinejad after his return to office following the June 12 presidential election, press tv reported.

Ahmadinejad announced earlier in June that his new cabinet will undergo "major changes" to comply with the needs of his second term in office.

In a televised speech, Ahmadinejad also said that he would be issuing "regular reports' to update people on the performance of his cabinet.

Ahmadinejad announced also the replacement for Gholam Reza Aqazadeh, who resigned last week from heading the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, and Vice-President for Atomic Energy, after 12 years.

The new man is Ali Akbar Salehi, a former Iran envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a former president of the Sharif University of Technology.