Iranian president’s son-in-law resigns amid nepotism claims
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Iranian president’s son-in-law resigns amid nepotism claims

Kambiz Mehdizadeh steps down just two days after he was appointed head of country’s geological survey

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in New York on September 26, 2018, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.  (AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a press conference in New York on September 26, 2018, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. (AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s son-in-law resigned on Monday, just two days after his appointment as head of Iran’s geological survey sparked accusations of nepotism, official news agency IRNA reported.

Kambiz Mehdizadeh, in his early thirties, who reportedly married Rouhani’s daughter in a low-key wedding this August, was appointed to the senior position in the industries and mining ministry on Saturday.

The move sparked criticism on social media and from some lawmakers.

“I thank you for finding me worthy and inviting me to work alongside you in this ministry, but I ask to be relieved of my service so that I can continue my scientific and research activities,” Mehdizadeh wrote in a resignation letter, according to IRNA.

Mehdizadeh is a PhD student in petroleum engineering, who has also served as an adviser to Iran’s oil ministry, taekwondo federation and national youth organization, according to the conservative Tasnim news agency.

The minister who appointed him, Reza Rahmani, defended his choice just hours before the resignation, saying Mehdizadeh was “chosen based on his competence and being the president’s son-in-law had nothing to do with it,” according to IRNA.

Iranians on social media renewed criticism of nepotism that had spread last year with the hashtag “#good-genes” — a reference to the son of a prominent reformist politician who attributed his business success to inheriting “good genes” from his parents.

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