Iran parliament approve science minister nominee

AP News
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Posted: Nov 26, 2014 5:23 AM

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's parliament on Wednesday approved President Hassan Rouhani's nominee for ministry of science, ending a long stand-off between the moderate president and the conservative-dominated assembly.

In a vote, 197 out of 235 lawmakers voted to approve Mohammad Farhadi as new head of the science, research and technology ministry.

Farhadi, a physician who specializes in ear, nose and throat ailments, is currently the head of Iran's Red Crescent Society. He previously served as minister of health under former President Mohammad Khatami.

Rouhani attended the parliament session on Wednesday to defend the qualifications of his nominee; Farhadi is the fifth nominee proposed by Rouhani for the post.

Farhadi also addressed the assembly, saying, "If the parliament trusts me for this important position, God willing, I will seek a fundamental revolution in the science ministry by appointing qualified managers."

Earlier in August the parliament impeached and sacked science minister Reza Faraji Dana on the charge of trying to bring back liberal professors and students who were purged during the administration of hard-line former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Rouhani, a relative moderate elected last year, has promised to promote greater openness in the Islamic Republic. But he has run into fierce resistance from hard-liners in the government.

Since Rouhani took the office, conservative parliamentarians have repeatedly challenged his Cabinet nominees, accusing him of nominating ministers who are too friendly with the West or who back "sedition" against the ruling establishment.