TEHRAN (AFP) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was grappling on Monday with a new political crisis that has weakened his standing even among hardline supporters as the opposition warned it would press on with its protest campaign. The embattled Ahmadinejad, already forced into a climbdown over his choice of a top aide, was again under fire on Monday over the sacking of the intelligence minister and the resignation of his culture minister. And in a new defiance of the regime, the Iranian opposition is calling for a ceremony this week to mourn the protesters slain in the aftermath of the bitterly disputed June election that returned Nejad to power. The countrys regime has no choice but to return to the principles of the constitution and if it does not, then people will force it to return, Ahmadinejads defeated rival Mir Hossein Mousavi said. The more people you arrest, the more the movement will spread. Irans judicial chief has ordered a decision soon on the fate of hundreds of detained demonstrators who remain behind bars and urged investigations into complaints of rights violations. The Mehr news agency quoted an informed source as saying Intelligence Minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie was sacked after a cabinet meeting quarrel with Nejad over his controversial pick for first vice president. Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, who provoked the ire of hardliners last year when he said Iran was a friend of the Israeli people, finally stepped down as vice president on Saturday after the all-powerful Khamenei personally ordered Ahmadinejad to dismiss him. Ejeies sacking set off a further chorus of criticism among the conservative wing in Iran just days before Ahmadinejad is to be sworn in on August 5 and then set about forming a new cabinet. This action was suicidal, lawmaker Heshmatollah Fellahatpishe said. MP Mousalreza Servati said 200 lawmakers had written to Ahmadinejad asking him to correct his behaviour and follow Khameneis words. In another humilitating blow for Ahmadinejad, Culture Minister Mohammad-Hossein Saffar-Harandi quit on Sunday over what he said were recent events which show the esteemed govts weakness. The departure of the ministers has compounded Ahmadinejads woes, with some suggestions he might need to seek a new vote of confidence in his present cabinet even though he is preparing a new government line-up. Meanwhile, senior European politicians Monday raised concerns about human rights in Iran and repeated demands for the release of a French woman lecturer jailed on spying charges. Iran reiterated on Monday it has no plans to build nuclear weapons, after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Tehran that any pursuit of atomic arms was futile. Irans constitution stipulates that if half of the 21-member cabinet is reshuffled during its four-year term, a new vote of confidence is required. Ahmadinejad has changed 10 ministers, including Ejeie, in his current mandate. But Mohammad Jafar Mohammadzadeh, communications director at Ahmadinejads office, said the president had rejected Saffar-Harandis resignation and the government does not need to secure a vote of confidence. In a move to try to contain the crisis, powerful cleric and former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani-who last week accused the regime of losing the peoples trust-denied he was locked in a power struggle with Khamenei. Despite the massive crackdown by the authorities on protestors and reformists, the opposition is planning a ceremony on Thursday to mourn slain demonstrators.