Iranian legislators have discussed the qualifications of President Hassan Rouhani’s proposed oil minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, in a heated debate.
On the fourth and last day of parliamentary deliberations on Rouhani’s proposed ministers on Thursday, Zanganeh took the podium and defended his credentials and plans in response to his critics.
Iranian lawmaker Ahmad Tavakkoli, who spoke against Zanganeh, accused the proposed oil minister of not being serious in fighting corruption during his previous tenure in office.
However, Zanganeh rejected the accusation, pledging to adopt a zero-tolerance approach in dealing with corruption if approved as Iran’s next oil minister.
The proposed oil minister further said he plans to reinvigorate the country’s oil industry with the help of foreign diplomacy in order to pass through the current sensitive juncture.
“I believe that all specialized potentials and collective wisdom should be used to manage the oil industry so that this sector will not turn into anyone’s backyard,” said Zanganeh.
Reza Abdollahi, a lawmaker speaking in favor of Zanganeh, described him as highly respected at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
“In the current sensitive conditions when sanctions have targeted Iran’s oil [sector], the Oil Ministry needs Bijan Zanganeh,” he said.
Zanganeh served as Iran’s oil minister under former president, Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, from 1997 to 2005.
Rouhani submitted the list of his Cabinet nominees during his swearing-in ceremony at Majlis on August 4.
The MPs have been reviewing the qualifications of the nominees since Monday.
Meanwhile, if any of the 18 proposed ministers fails to win a vote of confidence, Rouhani will have up to three months to name a replacement.
Vice-Speaker of Iran Majlis Mohammad Reza Bahonar said earlier that the Iranian Legislature will remain in session on Thursday until debates on all Cabinet picks are concluded and confirmation votes are cast.
By Press TV
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