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Old face may return to Iran's Oil Ministry

Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:18 AM

TEHRAN, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- A member of the Iranian Parliament said Monday he welcomed the potential return of Bijan Namdar Zanganeh to the Oil Ministry.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani nominated Bijan Zanganeh to head the Oil Ministry of Iran. He'd return to a position he held from 1997 to 2005 if he gets a full vote of confidence from Iranian lawmakers.

Hossein Amiri Khamkani, a member of Parliament's energy committee, said Zanganeh has experience worth supporting.

"We hope that the Parliament, which has a good knowledge of the competence of Mr. Zanganeh, lets him take the helm of oil affairs given the trouble-making restrictions resulted from sanctions," he was quoted by the Oil Ministry's official Shana news agency as saying.

Zanganeh would take office as pressure increases on Iran to offer more evidence its controversial nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Sanctions are meant to rob Iran of oil and gas revenue it could use to finance nuclear research, which Western powers say is geared toward a weapon.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its monthly market report for July gross domestic product should grow 4.2 percent next year "with more than half of the improvement coming from an expected acceleration in the economy of Iran."

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