TEHRAN -- For the third day, Iran’s parliament on Monday reviewed the qualifications of President Ebrahim Raisi’s proposed ministers.
Iran’s struggle to contain the resurging coronavirus pandemic took central stage as lawmakers took turns to debate the president’s pick for health minister, Bahram Einollahi.
As is the rule, one supporter and one opponent took the podium to speak in for or against the nominee. The health minister-to-be then had 30 minutes to defend his qualifications.
Among the cabinet’s hotshots was Hussein Amirabdollahian as the proposed foreign minister, who if approved, will lead Iran’s team in the Vienna talks, aimed at reviving the ailing nuclear accord signed in 2015 between Tehran and world powers.
The nuclear negotiations faced a hiatus following the end of former president Hassan Rouhani’s term and the election of Raeisi as the new president.
Now as Europe is urging Iran to come back to the negotiating table, Amirabdollahian apparently does not find talks with the West as the ultimate solution to the country’s troubled economy.
Raisi handed his proposed cabinet lineup to parliament on August 12, a week after he took the oath of office as Iran’s new president. Legislators then held 270 private meetings with the 19 proposed ministers to review their credentials.
The open-floor vote of confidence sessions kicked off on Saturday and are planned to culminate on Tuesday. But some MPs believe the process has been slow and may take longer to conclude.
The results of the vote of confidence process will shape the future of the country in many ways, from foreign policy and the fate of the nuclear deal, to the country’s battle against the resurging coronavirus pandemic. That’s why lawmakers have been slow, and in their words, meticulous in examining the proposed cabinet members.