Iranian Parliament has given its vote of confidence to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s four ministerial nominees.
Of the 246 MPs, 216 voted for Rostam Ghassemi as Oil Minister; 204 voted for Abdolareza Shiekholeslami as Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Affairs; 218 voted for Mehdi Ghazanfari as Minister of Industry, Mines and Commerce, and 165 voted for Mohammad Abbasi as Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs.
Ahmadinejad gave an hour-long speech in support of his choices, calling on MPs to give the parliamentary approval required by Islamic Republic law.
Today’s presentation of the four ministers comes after months of tension and conflict between Parliament and President Ahmadinejad over ministerial restructuring, and the MPs’ approval appears to signal relative calm and reconciliation in the upper echelons of Islamic Republic power.
Tensions rose after Ahmadinejad resisted the decision of Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader, to reinstate Intelligence Minister Heyday Moslehi, whom Ahmadinejad had earlier dismissed.
The open dispute became a green light for all of Ahmadinejad’s critics in government and Parliament to openly accuse the president of violating the law and ignoring Parliament-approved legislation.