Majlis Approves New Industries Minister

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The Iranian Parliament on Tuesday gave a vote of confidence to Alireza Razm-Hosseini who was nominated by President Hassan Rouhani to take the helm of the Industries, Mining and Trade Ministry after it was without a chief for the past four months.  
Razm-Hosseini obtained the Majlis approval with 175 votes in favor, 80 votes against and nine abstentions from a total of 264 lawmakers attending the session, ICANA reported.  
While announcing the results, Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf stressed the importance of Industries Ministry in the current difficult economic conditions arising from the American sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.  
“The Cabinet is complete … We hope the new minister of industries, mining and trade can address people’s problems with all in his power and organize the affairs of this sector with the help of the Majlis,” he said. 
The voting session was held in the absence of the president who was barred from attending by the taskforce to counter Covid-19. 
First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri was present in the parliament instead, although he was not authorized by the Majlis Presiding Board to deliver a speech in support of the government nominee instead of the president, according to the parliamentary procedure. 
Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, Education Minister Mohsen Haji-Mirzaei and Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Hosseinali Amiri also attended the session. 
Supporting and opposing lawmakers then took the podium for an hour before Razm-Hosseini defended his qualifications and presented his future plans. 
Former industries minister, Reza Rahmani, was dismissed from the position by Rouhani on May 11 and Hossein Modarres Khiyabani was appointed as the ministry’s caretaker.
It was not exactly clear why he was sacked, but Rahmani had been seriously criticized by officials and the media in March for his failure to supply personal protection equipment, including facemasks to Iran’s medical staff facing serious shortages during the viral outbreak.  
Modarres remained the caretaker for three months before being nominated to take the industries portfolio permanently, but he failed to gain the lawmakers’ vote of confidence on Aug. 12.  
The ministry was headed by Jafar Sarqeini as caretaker since then.  
Razm-Hosseini, 69, has a B.S. in economic sciences and commerce from Bahonar University of Kerman. 
He has held positions in the Mostazafan Foundation and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and also served as governor general of Kerman and Khorasan Razavi provinces.
Razm-Hosseini had also worked in the private sector, which has broadened his experience in various industrial sectors.    

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