Iran commerce minister to be named for oil post

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TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will nominate on Wednesday Commerce Minister Massoud Mirkazemi as oil minister in the world’s fifth-largest crude exporter, an adviser was quoted as saying.

Iraj Nadimi, a presidential adviser on parliamentary affairs, also said the president would propose to the assembly that Manouchehr Mottaki stays on as foreign minister, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Parliament must approve the proposed cabinet, which according to IRNA’s list includes three women ministers — at the health, social welfare and education ministries.

It would be the first time that women hold ministerial positions in the Islamic Republic.

Ahmadinejad has until later on Wednesday to present a cabinet to parliament for approval but may get a rough ride from the conservatives who dominate the assembly, as well as from his moderate foes who see his next government as illegitimate.

Mirkazemi would replace Gholamhossein Nozari as oil minister, one of the cabinet’s most important positions as crude sales account for most government revenue.

Parliament is due to start debating and voting on the proposed cabinet line-up later this month.

(Reporting by Reza Derakhshi; writing by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Richard Balmforth

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