After his fourth candidate for the post of science minister was voted down by Parliament, President Hassan Rohani appointed Mohammad Ali Najafi’s to a term as caretaker of the science ministry with the permission of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

ISNA reports that the president announced that until a science minister is appointed, Mohammad Ali Najafi will take serve as the ministry’s caretaker.

There had been some speculation that this time around the president himself would take over the ministry.

According to constitutional provisions, a ministry cannot be left in the hands of a caretaker for over three months.

Hassan Rohani has faced many obstacles in appointing and keeping a science minister because the conservative factions have been adamant that the post must not go to anyone connected to the 2009 election protests and those who challenged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory with allegations of election fraud.