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Page last updated at 09:04 GMT, Thursday, 20 August 2009 10:04 UK

Iran's president unveils cabinet

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Iranian president is expected to face opposition over his list

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose disputed re-election triggered a political crisis in the country, has unveiled his list of cabinet ministers.

For the first time in the 30-year history of the Islamic republic it includes three women.

Mr Ahmadinejad was sworn in for a second term on 5 August after a disputed poll in June.

Lawmakers are expected to begin voting on the proposed 21-member list at the end of the month.

Under the proposed list, women would head up the country's health, social welfare and education ministries.

The nominees for the respective posts are Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, Fatemeh Ajorlou and Sousan Keshavarz.

Warning

Analysts say Mr Ahmadinejad is expected to face considerable opposition over the list - both from the conservatives who dominate the assembly and moderates foes who say his government lacks legitimacy.

KEY MINISTRY NOMINATIONS
Defence: Ahmad Vahidi
Interior: Mostafa Mohammad Najjar
Foreign: Manouchehr Mottaki
Oil: Massoud Mirkazemi
Intelligence: Heydar Moslehi

The parliament's vice-speaker warned that several of the president's nominations were unlikely to be approved.

"Some of my colleagues and I [...] are of the opinion that close to five ministers proposed by Ahmadinejad will not receive a vote of confidence," Mohammad Reza Bahonar was quoted as saying by the Mehr News Agency.

Mr Bahonar, a conservative, hinted that as many as five of the president's proposed ministers would not be approved but gave no names.

Later on Thursday, Mr Ahmadinejad is expected to give a televised address to present the cabinet.

The current Commerce Minister Massoud Mirkazemi is nominated to take control of the powerful oil ministry in a country where crude sales represent 80% of foreign revenue.

He will be expected to bolster oil and gas output despite sanctions imposed on Iran by both the US and UN over its nuclear programme.

Both Mr Mirkazemi and those nominated for the intelligence and interior ministries have a background within the Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, which is seen as fiercely loyal to the values of the Islamic Republic.



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