Rouhani Unveils Cabinet Picks

Rouhani Unveils Cabinet PicksRouhani Unveils Cabinet Picks

The reelected President Hassan Rouhani proposed ministerial picks for his second four-year tenure on Tuesday, replacing nearly half of his first Cabinet to keep up his drive for broadening Iran’s international engagement and reforming its economy.

Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Hosseinali Amiri submitted the list of nominees in a letter to Majlis Presiding Board, ISNA reported.

Enclosed in the letter was plans of action of Rouhani’s picks and documents outlining the orientation of his new administration, Amiri said.

The list includes candidates to head 17 out of 18 ministerial positions, nine of which are currently ministers and eight are newcomers. The nominee for the Science Ministry is yet to be introduced.

Rouhani had vowed an “inclusive” Cabinet.

Most replacements are in ministerial positions related to economy and culture.

Reappointed ministers in the list are Mohammad Javad Zarif as foreign minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh as oil minister, Mahmoud Alavi as intelligence minister, Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi as health minister, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli as interior minister, Ali Rabiei as labor minister, Mahmoud Hojjati as agriculture minister, Abbas Akhoundi as roads minister and Masoud Soltanifar as sports minister.

The new names are Seyyed Abbas Salehi for Culture Ministry, Amir Hatami for Defense Ministry, Masoud Karbasian for Economy Ministry, Mohammad Bat’haei for Education Ministry, Habibollah Bitaraf for Energy Ministry, Mohammad Shariatmadari for Industries Ministry, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi for Telecoms Ministry and Alireza Avaei for Justice Ministry.                    

The average age of nominees is 58, contrasting with Rouhani's talks of assembling a "young" Cabinet.

The youngest in the list is the 36-year-old Azari Jahromi, who is currently a deputy telecoms minister. His first Cabinet was the oldest in the history of the Islamic Republic, with an average age of 57 in 2013. The male-only Cabinet came after weeks of calls by reformist figures for the inclusion of women among ministerial candidates.


  Ball in Parliament's Court

Rouhani, who gained a 24-million-vote mandate in the May vote, took the oath of office in a high-profile ceremony on Saturday. During the campaign season, Rouhani made pledges to improve the livelihood of ordinary Iranians and curb unemployment by attracting foreign investment and technology.

Now the Majlis has a week to examine the qualifications of the aspirants who will then appear before the parliament to outline their plans for securing confirmation votes.

In recent weeks, Rouhani has been busy consulting parliamentary factions, none of which commands a definitive majority in the 290-member assembly, to build a consensus on his picks.

Separately on Tuesday, Rouhani reappointed Es'haq Jahangiri as the first vice president in his new administration.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints