Iran General NewsIran’s Rohani says merit, moderation basis for cabinet choices

Iran’s Rohani says merit, moderation basis for cabinet choices

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Bloomberg: Iran’s new President Hassan Rohani defended his cabinet nominees before parliament today, saying they were chosen based on their records, commitment and efficiency.

Bloomberg

By Ladane Nasseri

Iran’s new President Hassan Rohani defended his cabinet nominees before parliament today, saying they were chosen based on their records, commitment and efficiency.

“The people I have nominated are the most qualified, and in line with the policies of the government,” Rohani told lawmakers in a session aired live on state television. Parliament is reviewing the qualifications of his proposed ministers this week.

“The situation of the country is complicated enough,” Rohani said, adding that it isn’t a time “for trial and error.”

Nominees include former United Nations ambassador Mohammad Javad Zarif, tapped to become foreign minister; Hossein Dehghan, a former commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps air force, for minister of defense; and Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, chosen to retake his previous position as oil minister.

Rohani, a trained lawyer and cleric, was elected in June on pledges to improve Iran’s economy and world standing, battered by U.S.-led sanctions over the country’s nuclear program. The penalties have accelerated inflation, weakened the national currency and cut Iran’s oil exports, the country’s main source of revenues.

Rohani said he ignored the nominees’ political affiliations, instead assessing their capabilities and experience.

“Moderation and meritocracy are the basis,” for the selection, said Rohani, who was inaugurated last week. All proposed ministers “sympathize” with the Islamic Republic, “have strong allegiance” to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “and will do all they can for the country.”

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