Resignations at Higher Education Ministry Rejected

Resignations at Higher Education Ministry Rejected  Resignations at Higher Education Ministry Rejected

The caretaker minister of higher education, Mohammad Ali Najafi, told IRNA on Sunday that he had refused to accept the resignations of two senior directors at the ministry which remains at the center of dispute between conservative lawmakers and the executive branch.  

Deputy Minister of Science, Research and Technology Jafar Mili Monfared and director of the board of trustees Saeed Semnanian tendered their resignations on Saturday.    

 They said the main reason behind their decision to step down was to "pave the way" for President Hassan Rouhani's fourth pick for minister of higher education to be approved by parliament, the Mehr news agency reported.

  Ministerial Nominee's Chances Dim  

The president proposed Fakhreddin Ahmadi Danesh-Ashtiani to the Majlis last week nearly two weeks after parliament rejected another of his nominees for the controversial post.

Parliament is scheduled to hold a confirmation vote on Danesh-Ashtiani on Tuesday; however, some lawmakers have reportedly expressed doubt about his chances of obtaining a vote of approval.

Some conservative parliamentarians have implied that Rouhani’s candidates have been rejected by parliament partly due to their alleged involvement in the unrest which occurred after the 2009 presidential election or because they remained silent or failed to take a “proper stance” on the events that are referred to as “sedition” as well as sympathizing with the reformists.

Meanwhile, Danesh-Ashtiani on Sunday sat with MPs from various factions at parliament and presented his plans to them, IRNA reported.

He also attended a meeting with Najafi and Majlis Deputy Speaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar.

Parliament voted overwhelmingly against Mahmoud Nili Ahmadabadi on October 29.

Rouhani had named Nili Ahmadabadi nearly two months after the Majlis voted to dismiss then minister of higher education Reza Faraji-Dana.  

The conservative members of parliament had accused Faraji-Dana of mismanagement, especially concerning the case of students expelled from universities.

An investigation into a case known as “illegal scholarships” awarded by the previous administration, which was launched after Faraji-Dana took office, was reportedly one of the reasons behind the motion to oust him.

Following the impeachment vote, the president appointed Najafi, who himself had failed to obtain the parliament’s confirmation vote for the post of education minister.

Lawmakers had also denied a vote of approval to Mili Monfared, Rouhani’s original candidate for the post, following his inauguration as president last year.