PARIS-TEHRAN 15 Aug. (IPS) Faithful to his electoral promises to bring real changes, Iran’s new President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad presented the Majles on Sunday 14 August 2005 a cabinet that most of its members are unknown to even conservative lawmakers that control the parliament.
The cabinet presented to the Majles looks like an undiscovered island”, commented lawmaker Mohammad Abbaspour from the north-western province of Oroumiyeh.
Such a homogenous and obedient cabinet is unprecedented in Iran’s contemporary history.
The new cabinet is quite homogenous, with eight ministers belonging to the revolutionary guards and the intelligence community, analysts observed, adding that while some are hard line officials, others can be considered as “moderate conservatives” who have land experience.
While opponents of Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad have criticised the formation of the new government, conservatives have reserved their comments for after examination of the new ministers by different committees of the Majles.
“Such a homogenous and obedient cabinet is unprecedented in Iran’s contemporary history”, commented Hamid Reza Jala’ipour, a former journalist and member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front’s Executive Committee.
The new Interior Minister is Mr. Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, a former acting Intelligence Minister is believed to have a hand in the assassination of many intellectual and political dissidents under Hojjatoleslam Ali Fallahian, the Intelligence minister of former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
“A man who has said in public that he would cut the head of anyone who stands up to the leader obviously creates concern”, journalist Isa Saharkhiz told the Persian service of the BBC referring to Hojjatoleslam Qolamhoseyne Mohseni Ezheh’i as the new Intelligence Minister.
As Prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Clergymen, Mr. Mohseni-Ejei tried many reformist clerics.
The Foreign Affairs goes to Mr. Manouchehr Mottaki, a carrier diplomat who served as ambassador in Japan and Turkey and reached th rank of deputy minister.
His nomination is a sign that the controversial nuclear problem would be concentrated at the hands of Mr. Ali Larijani, the former Head of the conservatives-controlled Radio and Television named on Monday by Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad as the new Secretary of Supreme Council for National Security, replacing Hojjatoleslam Hassan Rohani and chief of the Iranian nuclear negotiators with both the European Union’s Big 3 (Britain, France and Germany) and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The new Defence Minister, Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, 49, is a veteran of the Revolutionary Guards since the establishment of the body in 1980, where he served as in charge of the Middle East Department, with Palestine, Lebanon and the Persian Gulf as places of particular attention.
Ali Sa’idlou, the right hand man of the president at Tehran Municipality is the new Oil Minister. Many lawmakers have criticised this choice, noting that Mr. Sa’idlou, a geologist, has no experience in oil affairs.
People voted for radical changes. This is exactly what Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad has done with bringing in new faces.
The Roads and Transport Minister Mohammad Rahmati is the only minister who was at the head of this ministry under the last president.
“Cabinet is not a school for administration management, especially at a time that the nation is facing important challenges both at home and abroad”, one conservative member of the Majles noted.
Mr. Hoseyn Nejabat, a Tehran representative said that the ministers respond to people’s expectations from the new President. “People voted for radical changes. This is exactly what Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad has done with bringing in new faces”, he pointed out.
But Iraj Nadimi, a MM from Gilan province said the cabinet is “all but what Mr. Ahmadi nezhad had promised: a government representative of Iran’s 70 million population made of different ethnics and political and ideological walk”.
“The bad news is that most of the new ministers are former sepahi (revolutionary Guards), basiji (volunteer militias) of etela’ati (intelligence and security). The good news is that unlike the so-called reformists who were not much different from the conservatives but had put on a reform-seeking hood in order to have a share in the cake, the new ministers have no mask; they are what they are and represents the true image of the regime., commended Mr. Amir Abbas Fakhravar, an outspoken activist student in Tehran in an interview with the Hong Kong-based internet newspaper “The Asia Times Online”.
The list of the proposed cabinet, -- in which the average of the ministers is 48 -- is as follows:
1. Minister of Education: Ali Akbar Ash'ari
2. Minister of Communications and Information Technology:
3. Minister of Information: Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie
4. Minister of Economy: Davoud Danesh-Ja'fari
5. Minister of Foreign Affairs: Manouchehr Mottaki
6. Minister of Commerce: Masoud Mir-Kazemi
7. Minister of Health, Treatment and Medical Education: Kamran Baqeri Lankarani
8. Minister of Cooperatives: Ali-Reza Ali-Ahmadi
9. Minister of Agriculture Jihad: Mohammad-Reza Eskandari 10. Minister of Justice: Jamal Karimi-Rad
11. Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics: Mostafa Mohammad Najjar
12. Minister of Transportation: Mohammad Rahmati
13. Minister of Welfare and Social Security: Mehdi Hashemi
14. Minister of Industries and Mines: Ali-Reza Tahmasbi
15. Minister of Science, Research and Technology: Mohammad-Mehdi Zahedi
16. Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance: Mohammad-Hossein Saffar-Harandi
17. Minister of Labor and Social Affairs: Mohammad Jahromi
18. Minister of the Interior: Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi
19. Minister of Oil: Ali Sa’idlou
20. Minister of Energy: Parviz Fattah
21: Minister of Housing and Urban Development: Mohammad Sa’idi-Kia.
According to IRNA, the Majles will start debate on the credentials of the nominees and the outlines of the government program within a week to give vote of confidence to the cabinet ministers.
In case some candidates are rejected by the parliament, the President must introduce new nominees within a period of 15 days.
Ahmadinejad won the presidential race on 24 June aganst Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president most political analysts and pundits were predicting as the’of course winner’.
He was officially confirmed by Ayatollah Khameneh’i of 3 August and took oath at the Majles 3 days latter. ENDS AHMADINEJAD CABINET 15805