Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has fired Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, the official IRNA news agency reported on Monday, without giving reasons.
"I thank you and appreciate the work and the services you have rendered during your tenure in the foreign ministry," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying in the directive carried by IRNA.
Ahmadinejad appointed head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation Ali Akbar Salehi, a close ally to the president, as the caretaker for the ministry, state television reported.
"I hope your efforts receive a praise by God and you will be successful in the rest of your life at the service of people of our Islamic nation," he added.
Mottaki, a career diplomat, was appointed to the post of foreign minister in August 2005. He is currently in Senegal on an official visit.
A reformist website said Mottaki had been critical of Ahmadinejad's policies.
"Mottaki failed to adjust himself to the president's view points and his foreign policy," the Mardomsalari website reported.
A fluent speaker of English who is also comfortable in Urdu and Turkish, Mottaki earned a degree in social sciences from the University of Bangalore in India and a graduate degree in international relations from Tehran University in 1991.