Middle East

Iranian President Names New Oil Chief Amid Pressure

May 15: This image provided by the Presidency Office shows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attending an interview with state-run TV at the presidency in Tehran, Iran.

May 15: This image provided by the Presidency Office shows Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attending an interview with state-run TV at the presidency in Tehran, Iran.  (AP)

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's state TV is reporting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has withdrawn as the caretaker of the country's vital oil ministry and named an ally instead.

The Thursday report says Ahmadinejad appointed Mohammad Aliabadi, a day after Iran's parliament voted to take the president to court over his takeover of the ministry.

The vote was seen an indication of the power struggle between the president and the hard-line establishment that has turned against him ahead of parliamentary elections in 2012 and a presidential election in 2013.

In recent years, Aliabadi, 54, has been head of the national Olympic committee, vice president in charge of physical education and head of the main fishery organization.