Iran General NewsIran's Ahmadinejad nominates aide for interior minister: report

Iran’s Ahmadinejad nominates aide for interior minister: report

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ImageAFP: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday nominated a close aide as Interior Minister four days after parliament sacked Ali Kordan for lying about his credentials, Fars news agency reported.

ImageTEHRAN (AFP) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday nominated a close aide as Interior Minister four days after parliament sacked Ali Kordan for lying about his credentials, Fars news agency reported.

Ahmadinejad nominated Sadeq Mahsouli for the post in a letter to the parliament or majlis, the semi-official agency said.

"It usually takes the majlis a week to prepare for a vote of confidence for a nominee," Hamidreza Haji Babaie, a deputy and a member of the majlis' presiding board, was quoted as telling Fars.

Mahsouli, currently one of Ahmadinejad's top aides, was his second nominee for the post of oil minister after his election as president in 2005.

But Mahsouli withdrew ahead of the majlis vote of confidence for that position because he had no experience of the crucial oil sector.

Iran is OPEC's second largest producer of crude, with oil accounting for 80 percent of export revenues.

Like Ahmadinejad, the 49-year-old Mahsouli is a veteran of the Revolutionary Guards, the elite ideological army which has been steadily encroaching on national politics in Iran.

He has served in provincial government posts and also as a deputy defence minister in charge of planning.

On Tuesday, the majlis voted to sack Kordan as interior minister for lying about his educational credentials and presenting a fake degree from a prestigious British university.

Kordan had been under pressure to quit the key cabinet post he took up just three months ago after Oxford University denied awarding him any qualification, as he had claimed.

The scandal was a major source of embarrassment for the government of Ahmadinejad, who defended Kordan throughout the controversy and also refused to appear in parliament for his impeachment.

Kordan was sacked after 188 of the 247 deputies present in the 290-seat majlis voted for him to be fired. Forty-five lawmakers voted against the motion and 14 abstained.

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