Iran’s Parliament has given its vote of confidence to the newly formed Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade and the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Security.

The Parliamentary website Khaneh Mellat reports that the Ministry of Commerce was merged with Industry and Mines to form the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade.

The Ministry of Cooperatives was merged with the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Social Welfare to form the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Security

Parliament voted 140 to 38 with eight abstentions to rationalize all the responsibilities and authority of five ministries into two.

The administration had proposed the merger of Ministry of Labour with the Ministry of Social Welfare to form the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare; however, Parliament added the Ministry of Cooperatives into the mix at the suggestion of Langarood MP Mehrdad Lahouti.

The original proposal also had called for the merger of the Ministry of Industry and Mines with the Ministry of Commerce to form the Ministry of Industry and Trade. But Parliament added the word Mines to the title of the newly merged ministry.

MP Nader Ghazipour noted that flyers were circulated through Parliament today saying the Supreme Leader is against the merger of the Ministry of Cooperatives.

Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani responded, saying: “I am surprised that such a flyer has been passed around. The Leader has said earlier that he has no specific opinion regarding this issue.”

Larijani added: “He sent me a message this morning saying that in this regard, ‘I will accept whatever Parliament approves.’”

According to a Five-Year Development Plan spanning 2010 to 2015, the administration must reduce the number of ministries from 21 to 17.

Parliament has already approved the merger of the Roads and Transportation Ministry with Housing and Urban Development.

Ali Nikzad won Parliament’s vote of confidence to lead the newly formed Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.