Iranian parliament rejects nominee for industry minister

August 12, 2020 - 18:59

TEHRAN - Iranian lawmakers on Wednesday did not endorse Hossein Modares Khiabani nominated as minister of industry, mine and trade by the government.

In the 290-seat parliament, 140 MPs voted against him, 104 lawmakers voted for, and 10 abstained. Some MPs were not present in the parliament. 

First Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri had attended the parliament to defend Khiabani’s record.

Modarres Khiabani named as caretaker industry minister in May as President Rouhani fired Reza Rahmani on May 11.

After the voting, Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qhalibaf asked Rouhani to name a new candidate as soon as possible in view of the “current economic condition”.

Modarres Khiabani served as the second most important person in the ministry while Rahmani was minister.

MP Hossein-Ali Haji Deligani, a member of the Majlis presiding board, said he does not back Khiabani because he has not paid attention to “the policies of resistance economy”, failed to “intelligently monitor exports and imports” and lacked “jihadi spirit”.

Also, MP Mohsen Zanganeh also spoke against the proposed minister, saying, “Our opposition is not with Mr. Modarres Khiabani but with the weak performance of the largest economic ministry of the government over the past year.”

The people’s livelihood, production sector, and job are tied to this ministry and Khiabani as deputy minister has had in this failure, Zanganeh pointed out. 

Abbas Goudarzi, another lawmaker who represents Borujerd, also voted against the nominee, saying Modarres Khiabani should be held accountable for his performance as acting minister.

However, Salman Zaker, who represents Urmia, backed Modarres Khiabani, saying the proposed minister prioritizes fighting corruption. Zaker said Khiabani should not be blamed for all the existing problems.

Mohammad Khodabakhshi, who voted for Modarres Khiabani, described him as “brave, capable and committed”.


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