Faced with the dispute over the elections, Mr. Ahamadinejad could encounter considerable resistance in Parliament, which has to approve the Cabinet line-up.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has unveiled his Cabinet line-up as part of an effort to consolidate his position following the disputed presidential elections held in June.
For the first time since the Islamic revolution, three women have been included in the Cabinet. One of them, Marzieh Vadi Dastgerdi has been nominated as Health Minister. If approved by Parliament, Susan Keshavarz would get the Education Ministry, while Fatemeh Ajorlu is the nominee for the Welfare portfolio.
The President has retained Manouchehr Mottaki as his Foreign Minister, signalling the continuation of the foreign policy that was pursued by the republic during his first term. Mr. Ahmadinejad announced on Wednesday that the countries of the region would triumph over the “West’s adventurism” because of their “spirit of resistance.”
At a press conference with his visiting Syrian counterpart, Bashar Al Assad, Mr. Ahmadinejad stressed that Iran and Syria were regional powers, which the West was bound to engage. On his part, the Syrian President congratulated Mr. Ahmadinejad on his re-election and asserted that “from now on, doors of the international community will be wide open to Iran and Syria.”
Analysts point out that Iran and Syria have been key allies in jointly promoting their interests in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. The two countries have backed the Palestinian Hamas and the Lebanese Hizbollah, who have been pitted on the frontline against Israel. Mr. Ahmadinejad has entrusted the Interior Ministry to Mostafa Mohammad Najjar. Known to be close to the powerful Revolutionary Guard, Mr. Najjar was the trusted Defence Minister of the President during his first term.
Faced with the dispute over the elections, Mr. Ahamadinejad could encounter considerable resistance in Parliament, which has to approve the Cabinet line-up. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has already fired the first salvo by questioning the President’s choice of Intelligence Minister. Mr. Larijani said Heidar Moslehi, President’s nominee for the Intelligence Ministry, was too inexperienced.
“A security official should have a vision” and know how to deal with both security and political issues, said Mr. Larijani. He added that a Ministry “is not a place for tryouts.” Parliament has to complete its process of approval of the Cabinet on September 30.