Iran General NewsMajlis approves Iran’s new oil, industries ministers

Majlis approves Iran’s new oil, industries ministers

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Nov. 14 – Iran’s hardline-dominated Majlis (Parliament) gave a vote of confidence on Wednesday to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s choices for the portfolios of oil and industries ministers. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 14 – Iran’s hardline-dominated Majlis (Parliament) gave a vote of confidence on Wednesday to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s choices for the portfolios of oil and industries ministers.

Gholam-Hossein Nozari was approved as Iran’s new Oil Minister, winning 217 votes from the 246 Majlis deputies present.

Nozari, the head of the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), had been appointed as caretaker oil minister in August after Ahmadinejad sacked Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh. Nozari is seen as close to Ahmadinejad.

The Majlis deputies also voted 174 to 49 with 18 abstentions to approve Ali-Akbar Mehrabian, 38, as the country’s new Minister of Industries and Mines.

Mehrabian, a close ally of Ahmadinejad, began to serve as caretaker industries minister in August when the hard-line Iranian president dismissed Ali-Reza Tahmasbi.

The new appointments could signal Ahmadinejad gaining further control over the ministries responsible for much of the country’s economic sector.

The important portfolio of Oil Minister was vacant for several months when Ahmadinejad became President in late 2005, as Majlis deputies voted down three other nominees for the job on the grounds that they were not capable of handling the vital oil sector.

Iran ranks second in oil production among the OPEC states, accounting for some 80 percent of the country’s export revenues.

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