Iran: Khamenei orders Ahmadinejad to fire vice president

Iranian news agencies reported on Wednesday that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sent a letter to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ordering him to dismiss Esfandiar Rahim Mashai as vice president. The order, issued late Tuesday, was widely seen as a setback for Ahmadinejad who had strongly defended his decision to appoint Mashai, his son's father-in-law, as his first vice president. Mashai angered hard-liners in 2008 when he said Iranians were "friends of all people in the world - even Israelis." Ahmadinejad is already embroiled in a crisis over opposition claims he stole last month's election from the pro-reform candidate.