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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 December 2005, 23:06 GMT
Iran MPs consider new oil nominee
Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh
Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh has experience in the oil ministry
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has nominated a fourth candidate for oil minister, after failing to get backing for the previous three.

The new nominee is Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh, currently the acting oil minister and a former deputy oil minister under a previous government.

Parliament is due to vote on his nomination in a week's time.

Previous nominees have been considered cronies of the president and been rejected for a lack of experience.

Experts said Mr Vaziri-Hamaneh's history in the oil ministry could make his acceptance by parliament more likely.

"It looks like a good decision to name someone from within the oil ministry. The atmosphere is more positive," oil consultant Hatef Haeri told the AFP news agency.

Kamal Daneshyar, head of parliament's energy commission, said: "He has 30 years of experience in the oil sector and I personally back him. He is an expert, committed, a follower of the Supreme Leader and religious."


Oil accounts for 80% of Iran's export revenues and oil minister is therefore a key post.

Analysts say the stalemate has damaged investor confidence and Iran's standing within oil cartel Opec.

Mr Ahmadinejad has pledged to reform the oil industry by purging the "mafia" he says runs it and distributing the revenues more evenly among the poor.

Correspondents say the hardline president's autocratic leadership style has upset some MPs.

Since his election in June, Mr Ahmadinejad has replaced 40 diplomats including many key ambassadors, the heads of all seven of Iran's state banks, and key nuclear negotiators.

Parliamentarians complain they have not been consulted about these moves.

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