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Archive for Thursday, August 23, 2001

Iran Cabinet nominees approved

August 23, 2001

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— In a victory for Iran's reform-minded president, parliament on Wednesday approved all 20 of his Cabinet nominees despite the reservations of hard-liners and liberals alike.

President Mohammad Khatami called his new ministers "competent, committed and compatible" with his plans to bring social and political change to Iran.

"Your yes vote is great capital for all of us," Khatami told lawmakers after the vote. The new Cabinet held its first session Wednesday evening.

During four days of debate, some reformist legislators worried that the Cabinet members lacked the credentials to push through changes, while hard-liners questioned their dedication to economic development.

Others were critical of Khatami for not naming women to any ministerial posts.

"Public opinion was not happy with some nominees, and legislators seriously objected to them, but some later changed their minds and did not resist," said reformist legislator Jalal Jalalizadeh.

Khatami was re-elected by a 77 percent landslide to a second four-year term on June 8. During his first term, many of his attempts at reform were frustrated by hard-liners who control the judiciary, the police, state media and the Guardian Council, which approves all legislation.

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