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Ahmadinejad Fires 3 Ministers

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, May 14 (ICANA) – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked three government ministers, including Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi, to step down as part of plans to combine some ministries.
Saturday, May 14, 2011 7:00:44 PM
Ahmadinejad Fires 3 Ministers

The responsibilities of Mir-Kazemi, as well as Industry and Mines Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian and Welfare Minister Sadegh Mahsouli, have ended, Ahmadinejad said in separate letters published on the Tehran-based presidency website today.

Iran announced May 9 that the oil ministry will merge into the energy ministry to help reduce the number of departments to 17 from 21 and boost the administration’s efficiency. The Industries and Mines Ministry will be combined with the Commerce Ministry and the Welfare Ministry with the Labor Ministry.

Ahmadinejad’s government will need to nominate ministers for the combined ministries to parliament, senior parliamentary member Hossein Sobhaninia said last week.

Larijani has also ruled out a standoff between the legislative and executive branches over the administrations' plan to merge some ministries.

Speaking to reporters on the sideline of his tour of the 24th Tehran International Book Exhibition Friday, Larijani said it is not considered wrong for the government to have different views regarding the mergers, but the matter has to be settled.

The Majlis speaker, however, said that the viewpoint of Iran's Guardian Council (GC) backs that of the legislative body.

In a letter to Larijani on Wednesday, Head of Iran's Guardian Council Ahmad Jannati referred to Article 133 of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Constitution and added that Majlis needed to approve any changes in the legal duties and the merger of two or more ministries.

He pointed out that no change should be made in the responsibilities and authorities of former ministers and ministries ahead of the Majlis endorsement.

Earlier, Larijani warned against the “heavy costs” of the government's plan to merge ministries before the Majlis approval, calling for an end to the “illegal” move.

The top Iranian parliamentarian emphasized that ministers that have obtained the Majlis vote of confidence should remain in their posts before dismissal.

Larijani's remarks came a day after the announcement of a government plan for the merger of the ministries of Roads and Transportation with Housing and Urban Development, Energy with Oil, Industries and Mines with Commerce, and Welfare and Social Security with Labor and Social Affairs.

However, Ahmadinejad on Wednesday defended the government's plan, saying the measure was legal and in line with the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan.

According to the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015), the Iranian government is obliged to reduce its ministries form 21 to 17 to improve the efficiency of state administration.

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