|Iranian parliament approves 15 ministerial nominees, rejects three||
TEHRAN – The Iranian parliament on Thursday approved 15 out of 18 individuals nominated for ministerial posts by Iranian President Hassan Rohani, including nominees for the key ministries of foreign affairs and oil.
The parliament, which is dominated by conservatives, held confirmation votes on the proposed ministers after four days of debate, during which each nominee defended his plans and past record, and a number of MPs spoke for and against each of them.
The three rejected choices were Mohammad Ali Najafi as education minister, Massoud Soltanifar as sports and youth minister, and Jafar Mili-Monfared as science, research, and technology minister.
Among the key approvals was Rohani’s choice of foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, a U.S.-educated diplomat who formerly served as permanent representative of Iran to the United Nations.
The parliament also approved Rohani’s pick for oil minister, Bijan Zangeneh, who served as energy minister under Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani and was oil minister in Mohammad Khatami’s cabinet.
The ministers of oil and foreign affairs will have a vital role in implementing Rohani’s plans to improve Iran’s relations with the outside world and boost the economy through negotiating ways to have the sanctions imposed on the country over its nuclear program lifted.
Iran and the West are at loggerheads over Tehran’s nuclear program, which Iran says is entirely peaceful but the West suspects may be a cover for developing nuclear weapons.
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|Last Updated on 16 August 2013 16:51|