Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's pick for first vice president has resigned from the post, following a demand from Iran's supreme leader for his dismissal.
Iran's state news agency, IRNA quotes a top aide to Mr. Ahmadinejad, Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi, as saying Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie no longer regards himself as first vice president.
Mashaie has been criticized for saying last year that Iran is a friend of all people in the world, including Israelis. Iran does not formally recognize Israel.
Earlier Friday, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered President Ahmadinejad to dismiss Mashaie.
Iranian state television cited a letter in which Khamenei told the president the appointment of Mashaie is "against your interest and the interests of the government and will cause division among your supporters."