Lawmakers Endorse Rouhani’s Picks for Two Ministries

Ali-Asghar Mounesan (left) and Mohsen Haji-Mirzaei (right)

The Iranian Parliament has given votes of confidence to two ministerial picks introduced by President Hassan Rouhani to the lawmakers for the Ministry of Education and the newly-established Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts.

Mohsen Haji-Mirzaei secured 200 votes of confidence during the Tuesday parliamentary session, and was named as the new minister of education.

48 lawmakers voted against Haji-Mirzaei, and seven abstained from voting.

Former Iranian Minister of Education Seyyed Mohammad Bat’haei had earlier resigned in June, allegedly for running in parliamentary elections.

Ali-Asghar Mounesan was also picked as the Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts after winning 163 votes of confidence. 87 parliamentarians voted against him and five abstained from voting.

President Rouhani personally attended the Tuesday session in order to defend his picks before the lawmakers.

The president said Haji-Mirzaei is a wonderful and hard-working person with 20 years of experience in education, and is totally prepared for the new position.

He also lauded Mounesan’s performance as the head of the former Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization, saying that the number of tourists visiting the country has considerably increased during his tenure.

Mounesan is now tasked with establishing the ministry, whose plan was ratified by the Parliament and approved by the Guardian Council earlier this year.

The change is expected to further enhance and boost the tourism industry, and increase employment and investment opportunities in this field.

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