TEHRAN, 24 Aug. (IPS) In a blow to Iran’s new President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad, the conservatives-controlled Majles rejected on Wednesday 24 August 2005 four out of the 21 ministers he had proposed as future members of his government, signaling that all would not be pure love between the president and the Majles.
While it was expected that Mr. Ali Akbar Ash’ari, proposed for the National Education would be rejected, the surprise came when 183 lawmakers out of the 284 present voted against the important Oil ministry going to Mr. Ali Sa’idlou, the President’s right hand man when he was Mayor of Tehran.
183 lawmakers out of the 284 present voted against the important Oil ministry going to Mr. Ali Sa’idlou.
The tow other non approved ministers are Mr. Mehdi Hashemi for the Welfare and Mr. Alireza Ahmadi as Cooperatives minister.
Mr. Sa’idlou, a geologist, was rejected despite a strong plea from Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad, describing his nominee for the Oil ministry as a “caring, hard working, serious and strong manager”.
“Oil is a serious and complex and complicated matter, involving high economics, financial and political issues”, he said, adding that “when we want to bargain with the enemies or interlocutors, we use oil as a weapon. While at the same time it is the bread of the nation”.
Iran is OPEC’s second most important crude exporter after Saudi Arabia and has the world’s third largest proven reserves after those of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Started on Monday, the confidence voting process took three days, with most challengers coming from the benches of the conservative majority while the reformist minority remained silent, almost absent from the debates.
As expected, all nominees for key ministries, including Interior, Foreign Affairs and Information (Intelligence) were approved with little reticence.
Thanking the Majles for the “serious, just, resourceful and had work” offered during the process, the Islamo-populist President nevertheless urged the lawmakers to approve “all the nominees”, telling journalists that it would be “unthinkable” that the rejected ministers did not got the approval at a latter date.
According to the Constitution, the President has three months to present new names or keep those rejected at first vote taking.
Assuring Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad of the goodwill of the Majles, Speaker Qolamali Haddad Adel said the rejection of some nominees is the sign of the independence of the Legislative and its power and must not be taken as an insult towards the President or sign of hostility and non cooperation with the Government.
“With such a dedicated and homogeneous team, I can assure the nation that I would be able to implement my promises”, he added, referring to his “road map” that consists of restoring justice, fighting corruption, solving people’s most urgent needs and making Iran a strong nation.
Rejection of some ministerial nominees is the sign of the independence and power of the Legislative
But most of the reserves expressed by deputies were not politically motivated, as both the President and the Majles are from the same conservative factions that rule the country, but concerned the inexperience of several new ministers.
“The nation has suffered a lot from lack of experience”, Mr. Asgari told the House, referring directly to the case of Mr. Sa’idlou.
Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad also confirmed to journalists his reported “nuclear initiatives”, saying that he had submitted the proposal to related officials and the Supreme Council on National Security to be “reviewed, examined and completed” before handing it to the European negotiators.
However, he did not disclosed details of the initiative and did not provide any date for its passing to Britain, France and Germany, the so-called EU 3 that on Tuesday said it had called off the next meeting with Iran, scheduled on 30 August.
“Since Iran restarted some nuclear-related activities that it had engaged to suspend as part of Paris Agreement, the EU 3 decided that there is no more negotiations”, a French Foreign Affairs Ministry announced. ENDS AHMADINEJAD CABINET 24805