Iran’s constitutional watchdog has deemed illegal Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s decision to take over the role of oil minister, after Iran’s president removed the previous minister along with two others earlier in the week.
Iran’s president was said to have assumed the role earlier this week as part of a government shakeup that reduced the number of ministries from 21 to 17.
The move put him in direct control of the government unit responsible for the extraction and export of the world’s fifth largest oil and gas reserves.
It also meant Ahmadinejad would represent Iran at the next OPEC meeting, set for June 8 in Vienna.
According to Iranian law, a president has three months after removing a minister to introduce a new candidate to parliament.
During that period he can act as caretaker of the ministry or appoint someone else to do so.
But Iran’s Guardian Council, which supervises legislation and can block laws it deems unconstitutional or not Islamic, found Ahmadinejad’s move illegal, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.