TEHRAN – The Iranian Majlis will be holding a vote of confidence on Science, Research and Technology Minister Reza Faraji Dana, after over 60 MPs signed an impeachment motion.
On Tuesday, First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said Faraji Dana should be supported.
Jahangiri said that although constructive oversight by the Majlis is appreciated by all administration officials, MPs’ support for the management of the Science Ministry would be a sign of friendly cooperation between the legislative and executive branches.
He also rejected the allegations about a decline in Iran’s scientific ranking during the tenure of Faraji Dana, saying the claims are unrealistic and detrimental to the national interests of Iran.
MP Mohammad Mahdi Zahedi, who is currently the chairman of the Majlis Education and Research Committee and formerly served as science minister under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said that Faraji Dana is being impeached for failing to take security issues into consideration in relation to higher education students.
Zahedi stated that the 140 people who had been convicted on charges of having relations with opposition groups and disqualified from universities were allowed to resume their university studies under the tenure of Faraji Dana, and he said believed that some had even taken up arms against the state.
11 more MPs sign impeachment motion
The motion to impeach Faraji Dana was initially signed by 51 MPs, but 11 more MPs signed it on Tuesday.
MP Ali Asghar Zarei, who is the deputy chairman of the Majlis Committee for Education and Research, said on Tuesday that for parliamentarians, impeachment is the last resort for addressing issues related to a minister.
He stated that six sessions had been held with the impeachment motion signatories and the science minister. He added that Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani attended two of the sessions and one of President Hassan Rouhani’s advisors attended four.
Zarei said that during these sessions, promises had been made, but none of them had been fulfilled.
The MP also asserted that the impeachment process is in no way politically motivated.
He noted that a large number of the signatories of the impeachment motion had originally endorsed Faraji Dana as science minister, which means these MPs had no previous bias against him.
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