A handout picture provided by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on October 29 shows him delivering a speech to the parliament in Tehran.
A handout picture provided by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on October 29 shows him delivering a speech to the parliament in Tehran.

Rouhani Cabinet Complete

Rouhani Cabinet Complete

Lawmakers voted to confirm nominees proposed by President Hassan Rouhani on Oct. 21 for the two remaining vacant places in his 18-minister Cabinet.  
The parliament had a week to vet the proposed candidates until the vote of confidence on Sunday. It had approved 16 Cabinet members nominated by the reelected president in early August.
At the time, Rouhani did not name any candidate for the Science Ministry, which is in charge of higher education, and his nominee for energy minister was rejected by the legislature.
Rouhani proposed Mansour Gholami, a PhD holder from Australian University of Adelaide in horticulture, for science minister, and nominated former deputy energy minister, Reza Ardekanian, a PhD holder from Canadian McMaster University in Water Resources Engineering, for energy minister.

In the Sunday meeting, 180 lawmakers voted in support of Gholami, 80 lawmakers opposed him and 14 abstained, IRNA reported.    
Ardekanian won the approval of 255 legislators, while 38 voted against him and 13 abstained.

  Presidential Defense
Before the Sunday voting, Rouhani addressed the Majlis in defense of his proposed ministers.
Many within the academic community had reservations about Rouhani's pick for the science minister.
The president described Gholami as an "experienced" university professor with a proven managerial record.Rouhani said he has sought assurances from Gholami that he would uphold the government's agenda that is focused, among other things, on promoting freedom of expression in universities.
"I compromised on none of my standards in choosing the science minister … I stood by my principles," the president said.
Defending his nominee for energy minister, Rouhani said, "Mr. Ardekanian was invited to assume the post because of his expertise and knowledge of the water issue."
The specter of a water crisis has loomed over the country in recent years, prompting experts to issue stark warnings about its potential disastrous consequences.    


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