Mohammad Aliabadi

A day after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad caved into pressure by relinquishing the leadership of the Ministry of Oil and appointing Mohammad Aliabadi as the interim oil minister, the head of Parliament’s energy commission has challenged that choice, saying the president has appointed someone with no expertise for such a sensitive role.

“This is the worst choice for the oil and gas industry and it imperils the country’s future course,” Hamidreza Katouzian announced.

Katouzian told Mehr news agency: “Oil and gas is a specialized field and Mr. Aliabadi has no qualifications in this regard.”

Ahmadinejad had taken the helm in April, appointing himself as interim caretaker of the Ministry of Oil as it merged with the Ministry of Energy.

Parliament and the Guardian Council challenged the move, calling it unconstitutional for the president to assume such a role. Parliament went as far as filing charges against the president for violating legal provisions.

Aliabadi is a close member of Ahmadinejad’s circle in the government. He has served on Tehran city council and has experience heading physical education organization and the National Olympic committee.