Iran’s Majlis approved 18 votes of confidence for President Ahmadinejad’s 21-member Cabinet on Thursday. Although, it was expected that at least 1/3 of the nominees would not receive a vote of confidence because of rumors of “disqualification,” it is said that the Speaker of Majlis (Ali Larijani) informed the Representatives of the Supreme Leader’s desire to have all Cabinet nominees approved. If this news is accurate, the strong support of the Majlis could be considered as an important boost for the Supreme Leader influence.
Press TV reported on the vote Thursday:
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Iranian parliamentarians have given their vote of confidence to 18 of the 21 nominees proposed for ministerial posts, including one of the women candidates. Of the 18 approved ministers, Brigadier Ahmad Vahidi won the highest number of votes and Marzieh-Vahid Dastjerdi became Iran’s first woman minister since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The nominees who failed to win the parliament’s approval were the proposed candidates for the ministries of welfare and social security, energy, and education, Fatemeh Ajorlou, Mohammad Aliabadi, and Sousan Keshavarz. Ajorlou only gained 76 votes, much less than the required 143 votes. Aliabadi fell short of gaining the vote of confidence by six votes, and Keshavarz got the lowest approval with just 49 votes.
The lawmakers approved President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s choice of the following individuals for the leading posts at the country’s ministries:
(Candidates: Votes in favor, Votes against, Abstentions)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Manouchehr Mottaki: 173, 79, 34
Minister of Oil Masoud Mirkazemi: 147, 117, 19
Minister of Defense Brigadier Ahmad Vahidi: 227, 54, 5
Minister of Intelligence Heydar Moslehi: 194, 67, 25
Minister of Justice Morteza Bakhtiari: 225, 36, 23
Minister of Interior Mostafa Mohammad Najjar: 182, 75, 25
Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Seyyed Shamseddin Hosseini: 224, 41, and 21
Minister of Commerce Mehdi Ghazanfari: 158, 91, 37
Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini: 194, 61, 31
Minister of Cooperatives Mohammad Abbasi: 163, 83, 37
Minister of Industries and Mines Ali Akbar Mehrabian: 153, 103, 27
Minister of Jihad-e-Agriculture Sadeq Khalilian: 200, 54, 32
Minister of Communications and Information Technology Reza Taqipour: 197, 62, 27
Minister of Health Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi: 175, 82, 29
Minister of Housing and Urban Development Abdolreza
Sheikholeslami: 193, 63, 30
Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Ali Nikzad: 219, 40, 27
Minister of Science, Research and Technology Kamran Daneshjoo: 186, 75, 25
Minister of Road and Transportation Hamid Behbahani: 167, 83, 33
The new cabinet is scheduled to hold its first meeting in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Sunday. President Ahmadinejad has invited all the parliamentarians to take part in the planned meeting.