Proposed women ministers rejected in Iran

Aug. 28, 2009 at 2:27 PM

TEHRAN, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Lawmakers rejected a female candidate tapped for the Iranian Cabinet because of her alleged ties to the campaign of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Unnamed deputy lawmakers in the Iranian Parliament said Sousan Keshavarz, who was nominated by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the next education minister, was rejected for her ties to Mousavi.

"We have heard that she was active in the campaign headquarters of (defeated presidential candidate) Mir Hossein Mousavi," the source told the Iranian Labor News Agency.

Ahmadinejad was reportedly unaware of the connections to the opposition leader, the report said.

Ahmadinejad announced a major Cabinet shakeup following his disputed victory in the June 12 election. Lawmakers had threatened to block the nomination of "at least five" of the 11 ministers proposed by the president.

Lawmakers said they rejected Fatemeh Ajorloo for the next welfare minister because she was "too good" for a ministry that could be disbanded in the next few months.

Marziyeh Vahid Dastjerdi, picked as the next health minister, had "certain aspects" in her past business dealings that lawmakers cited as a concern.

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