In Show of Strength, Iranian Parliament Rejects Rouhani Nominee
The Majles, Iran’s parliament, has given a thumbs-down to Hossein Modares Khiabani, who was nominated by President Hassan Rouhani to serve as minister of trade and industry. The Wednesday vote of 140-104 reflects the relatively hard line taken by members of the new Majles, elected during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic and getting down to work only in the last couple of months following major shutdowns. Rouhani is considered a moderate on the country’s political scene. Khiabani has been serving as acting minister since May, when Rouhani fired Reza Rahmani over sluggish production and commerce brought on by the pandemic and, more critically, US economic sanctions. The sanctions were imposed by the Trump Administration, which in 2018 withdrew from a multilateral accord designed to bar Tehran from producing nuclear weapons. The administration said the agreement did not go far enough. Rouhani has three months to bring a new nominee for parliamentary confirmation.