Iran's pro-reform VP quits over disputes with conservative parliament members
One of Iran's prominent reformists, Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi, on Monday said he had submitted his resignation from the government.
"It is up to the president to approve this decision," Abtahi told the student news agency ISNA on Monday.
News of Abtahi's intention to quit came a day after the conservative-controlled parliament impeached the reformist transport minister, Ahmad Khorram, for mismanagement, corruption, a spate of accidents and favouring foreign firms in handing out government contracts.
Abtahi, who is vice president for judicial and parliamentary affairs, has been one of the most outspoken members of Khatami's government.
"For some time I have reached the conclusion that given the differences between my political viewpoints and those of the parliament, I cannot fulfil my responsibilities," Abtahi told ISNA.
Meanwhile, President Mohammad Khatami Monday ordered Ahmad
Sadeq Bonab to take care of the Roads and Transportation Ministry, instead of Khorram. The Iranian president also appointed Khorram as his advisor.
In a letter to the former minister, Khatami thanked Khorram for his "troubles and valuable services" as transport minister and praised his "competence, experience and skill."
Sadeq Bonab is the deputy roads and transportation minister in charge of economic affairs.
Khorram failed Sunday to secure parliament`s vote of confidence, in an impeachment motion brought up for mismanagement in his office.
He was voted out of office by a tally of 188-58. Nine deputies abstained in the 290-seat parliament.
The dismissal came even as President Khatami firmly defended Khorram`s record in office ahead of the impeachment.
"The performance of Transport Minister Ahmad Khorram has been satisfactory and I believe the ministry is among the successful sections of the government in terms of the volume and quality of work done," Khatami said Thursday. (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)