NewsSpecial WireHard-liners dominate new Iran cabinet

Hard-liners dominate new Iran cabinet

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Iran Focus: Tehran, Iran, Aug. 13 – Last-minute horse trading and political deals over ministerial appointments continued on Saturday among political factions within the ultra-conservative camp, as the newly-installed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad put the final touches on his cabinet list. Aides to the president said he would formally present the list to the country’s hard-line parliament (Majlis) in the next 48 hours. Iran Focus

Tehran, Iran, Aug. 13 – Last-minute horse trading and political deals over ministerial appointments continued on Saturday among political factions within the ultra-conservative camp, as the newly-installed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad put the final touches on his cabinet list. Aides to the president said he would formally present the list to the country’s hard-line parliament (Majlis) in the next 48 hours.

The list of ministerial nominations, which has to be approved by the Majlis, contains few well-known figures, all of whom belong to the hard-line camp. The less known figures are all from the same hard-line tendency within the ruling elite.

The list of ministerial nominations by nightfall on Saturday looked as follows:

– Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Manouchehr Mottaki, chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, former Deputy Foreign Minister and ambassador to Turkey and Japan, former liaison officer between the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Foreign Ministry.

– Ministry of Defence: Rear Admiral (Revolutionary Guards) Ali-Akbar Ahmadian, chief of staff of IRGC, former deputy commander of naval forces

– Ministry of Intelligence and Security: Hojjatol-Islam Gholamreza Mohseni Ezhei, Prosecutor and Judge of Special Tribunal for Clergy, formerly Special Prosecutor in the Ministry of Intelligence and Security

– Ministry of Interior: Hojjatol-Islam Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, former Deputy Minister of Intelligence and Security

– Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance: Hossein Saffar Harandi, former deputy editor in chief of ultra-conservative daily Kayhan, former commander in IRGC

– Ministry of Oil: Ali Saeedlou, long-time ally of Ahmadinejad in ultra-conservative Abadgaran faction, former deputy mayor of Tehran for finance and administration, replaced Ahmadinejad as interim mayor of Tehran after presidential elections

– Ministry of Energy: Morteza Saghaian-Nejad, mayor of Isfahan, chairman of hard-line Islamic Association of Engineers in Isfahan Province

– Ministry of Economy: Farhad Rahbar, economics lecturer in Tehran University

– Ministry of Commerce: Ahmad Khaledi, former Deputy Minister of Commerce

– Ministry of Education: Hamid-Reza Haji-Babai, member of presiding committee of Majlis, member of hard-line faction’s leadership in parliament

– Ministry of Justice: Alireza Jamshidi, deputy chief of Judiciary for legal affairs

– Ministry of Communications: Mohammad Soleymani, former Deputy Minister of Science, former chancellor of University of Science and Technology of Tehran (where Ahmadinejad studied, taught, and founded the Islamic Association)

– Ministry of Roads and Transportation: Ali Abadi, deputy mayor of Tehran for development (from Ahmadinejad’s Abadgaran faction)

– Ministry of Welfare: Sajjadi, head of Presidential Office for Technology

– Ministry of Science and Research: Mohammad-Mehdi Zahedi, hard-line chairman of Kerman City Council

– Ministry of Agriculture: Mohammad Reza Eskandari, head of Wheat Self-sufficiency Programme

– Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs: Habibollah Dahmardeh, chancellor of University of Sistan and Baluchistan (may be replaced with Mohammad Jahromi, senior election officer in the Guardian Council)

– Ministry of Health: Kamran Lankarani, currently head of a hospital in the southern city of Shiraz, known for his hard-line Islamist views

Ahmadinejad is expected to name Davoud Danesh-Jaafari, a leading member of hard-line Islamist faction, Abadgaran, in the Majlis, as his First Vice-president who will be, at the same time, head of State Planning and Management Organisation.

Last week, Ahmadinejad appointed hard-liner Ali Larijani as Secretary of Supreme National Security Council and put him in charge of nuclear policy. Larijani will attend cabinet meetings and is expected to play a key role in the new government. He is a former director of state-run radio and television and a former IRGC general.

Ahmadinejad has also appointed Gholam-Hossein Elham as Director of the Presidential Office. Elham has been the spokesman of the hard-line Guardian Council.

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