Iran MPs criticize minister job for election official

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faced criticism from some lawmakers on Wednesday for nominating as his new science minister an official who helped organize June’s disputed election.

Kamran Daneshjou, who ran the Interior Ministry’s election headquarters during the presidential poll, will be in charge of universities and other higher education issues if the assembly approves him as new science, research and technology minister.

Parliament, which must approve each of the 21 ministers in the hardline president’s next cabinet, had been expected to vote on the nominees on Wednesday but it was delayed until Thursday after four days of at times heated debate.

“We need to vote on the proposed ministers by noon tomorrow (0730 GMT),” Speaker Ali Larijani told the assembly.

The election, which was followed by huge opposition protests, plunged Iran into its deepest internal crisis since the 1979 Islamic revolution. The moderate opposition says it was rigged to secure Ahmadinejad’s re-election. Officials deny it.


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