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Iranian parliament votes to retain labor minister

March 13, 2018

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian lawmakers on Tuesday voted to retain the country’s labor minister after a hearing on his alleged mismanagement of unemployment and other government enterprises.

State TV reported that of 253 lawmakers present at the session, 124 voted to keep Ali Rabiei, 126 voted to fire him and two abstained. The chamber has 290 seats.

Rabiei’s opponents said his management caused many people to lose their jobs, saying he was responsible for unemployment rising to about 12 percent.

Lawmakers also criticized Rabiei for the collision of a tanker that burned and sank off the coast of China, killing 30 sailors in January. The Labor Ministry manages some 60 percent of the tanker company.

His defenders, however, said not all the accusations were not directly related to his ministry.

In the afternoon session, lawmakers will hear about Transportation Minister Abbas Akhoundi and his allegedly poor management as well as deaths in that sector.

The move is seen part of the factional push and pull between hardliners in parliament and moderate President Hassan Rouhani’s administration.

Update hourly