(Associated Press) Iran's president appointed his divisive confidant to a high-profile post Saturday in a move widely viewed as an attempt to boost the close aide's profile ahead of his expected candidacy in next year's presidential elections.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad named Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei the head of the secretariat of the Non-Aligned Movement, the bloc of developing nations that Iran took over the leadership of this year. The post raises Mashaei's political clout and gives him much-needed international experience.
Ahmadinejad cannot run in Iran's presidential elections in June because of term limits, and he is widely believed to be grooming Mashaei, whose daughter is married to the president's son, as his successor when he steps down in 2013.
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