Members of the cabinet, or Council of Ministers, are chosen by the president. They must be approved by parliament, which in 2005 rejected four of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's initial nominees for his hardline cabinet. Parliament can also impeach ministers.
The Supreme Leader is closely involved in defence, security and foreign policy, so his office also holds influence in decision-making. Reformist ministers under former President Khatami were heavily monitored by conservatives. The cabinet is chaired by the president or first vice-president, who is responsible for cabinet affairs.
Mr Ahmadinejad's cabinet contains only two clerics and no women. Mohammad Rahmati, minister of roads and transport, is the only minister remaining from Mr Khatami's cabinet.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's cabinet contains only two clerics