INTRODUCTION: Iran's president, Hojatoleslam Ali Khamenei, has named a hardline Islamic fundamentalist educated as a doctor in the United States as the country's next Prime Minister.
TEHERAN, IRAN (VISNEWS - MAHMOUD OSKOUI)
GV Khamenei arrives at academy to martial music (music11") PULL OUT TO VIEW OF soldiers waiting for inspection
GV Khamenei walking past gathered troops
SV American flag on ground with slogans written on it PAN TI group including Khamenei walking past
SV PAN ACROSS Seated military onlookers from various countries (2 shots)
GV Scaffolding tower from which purple smoke is issuing PULL OUT TO troops assembled below
GV Khamenei pinning medals on soldier
SV Soldier goose-stepping up to receive Iranian flag, GV three Iranian flags flying
SCU Khameni speaking in Farsi
Background: INTRODUCTION: Iran's president, Hojatoleslam Ali Khamenei, has named a hardline Islamic fundamentalist educated as a doctor in the United States as the country's next Prime Minister. He's Ali Akbar Vellayati, aged 36, a specialist in the infectious diseases of children. His elevation follows the surprise resignation of Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani from the position of Prime Minister last Thursday (15 October). However, there has been no split between the former Prime Minister and President Khamenei as they appeared together at a military graduation ceremony on Sunday (18 October).
SYNOPSIS: President Khamenei, himself in office less than fortnight, arrived to a martial musical greeting.
The officers' graduation ceremony was at the Iranian military academy just outside Teheran.
The President and his former Prime Minister, Mahdavi, reviewed then officers on parade before presenting them with their official insignia. During the inspection they showed their contempt for the United States by walking across an American flag which has abuse scrawled across it.
The parade was attended by military attaches from the nations which maintain a diplomatic presence in Teheran including the Soviet Union, China, Pakistan and India.
Sources in Iran say powerful Islamic fundamentalist urged Prime Minister Mahdavi's resignation because he wasn't tough enough despite President Khamenei's apparent support for him. The official reason was to give the President a free hand in choosing a new cabinet. The resignation came only days after Ayatollah Khomeini ordered parliament to disregard the conservative Council of Guardians and to push ahead with radical reforms. Under the constitution, parliament has no authority without the council's approval. At the same time, Khomeini gave up his power as commander-in-chief of Iran's armed forces to an army general. Despite the changes at the top, most cabinet members are hardliners and it's considered unlikely that there will be many changes. As the President is himself a fundamentalist clergyman if there are changes it's almost certain they won't increase the influence of moderates.
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