Abdolreza Sheikoleslami

Iran’s Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Security has been summoned to Parliament to explain the recent appointment of Saeed Mortazavi to head the Social Security Fund.

ILNA reports that Abdolreza Sheikoleslami must attend a parliamentary Q & A with a number of MPs who are critical of leaving the Social Security Fund in the hands of Mortazavi. He’s the former Tehran prosecutor who was removed from his position in the judiciary after the media exposed a scandal regarding prisoner deaths at the Kahrizak Detention Centre.

Mortazavi remains one of the prime suspects in the Kahrizak deaths, having been accused of ordering the transfer of post-election detainees to this facility, knowing full well they would be severely mistreated.

Parliament has challenged Mortazavi’s appointment and threatened the Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Security with dismissal if his responses are unsatisfactory.

After Mortazavi lost his position as Tehran Prosecutor, he was immediately picked by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to lead the task force against smuggling. Last month he was chosen to head the Social Security Fund.

Zohreh Elahian, one of the critical MPs, said: “We want Ahmadinejad to stop resisting the will of the people’s representatives who want to defend the rights of our people, because all these efforts are aimed at providing the ideal rights of our people.”

Ahmadinejad was warned by 15 MPs prior to the Mortazavi’s latest appointment, but the president has chosen to ignore the warnings.

Mortazavi has been quoted in the media saying he has already been acquitted of all the charges against him. His claims, however, have been denied by Iran’s Prosecutor General Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei.