Khatami Submits Government Reshuffle to Parliament
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has submitted to parliament the names of five new ministers in the biggest reshuffle of his term, five months before the presidential election, state radio said Wednesday.
In a letter to parliament speaker Mehdi Karubi, Khatami proposed Ahmad Masjed-Jamei as the new minister of culture and Islamic guidance, Mahmud Hojati for agriculture, Eshagh Jahanghiri for industry and mining, Ahmad Motamedi for telecommunications and Rahman Dadman as transport minister.
This government reshuffle would be the third since Khatami came to power in May 1997.
Iran's parliament is due to reconvene Sunday, with a vote of confidence in the five appointees top of the agenda, radio said.
Masjed-Jamei was a deputy to Ayatollah Mohajerani, a strong Khatami ally who quit last month as culture minister after months of pressure from conservatives who accused him of being too liberal, notably towards the press.
Motamedi, vice-minister of higher education, would succeed Mohammad-Reza Atef, who was appointed a vice-president and head of Iran's planning body last year, at the telecommunications industry.
Hojati would move to agriculture from transport. His nominated successor Dadman is currently head of Iran's state railways.
Jahanghiri takes over a new ministry comprising his former ministry of mines and metals and that of industry, which parliament recently decided should be merged.
Interior Minister Abdolvahed Moussavi-Lari, one of Khatami's closest aides, said Tuesday that the government reshuffle proved the president was determined to run for a second term, in the June 8 election -- TEHRAN (AFP)
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