TEHRAN, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The Iranian Parliament voted Wednesday to impeach Minister of Science Reza Faraji-Dana.
Parliamentarians gathered Wednesday to consider an impeachment petition that alleged Faraji-Dana had acted "against the nation's interests" by easing restrictions at universities. The science minister allowed activist students and professors who had been removed from their universities under the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back into the classroom. The petition claims such decisions "politicized" university environments and threatens state security.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, has supported increased freedom of expression at universities and not all were supportive of the impeachment effort.
Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani was quoted in Shargh newspaper on Tuesday as saying "time and energy shouldn't be consumed by political frictions."
270 members of Parliament convened Wednesday for the impeachment vote. According to Iran's state-run news agency, 145 lawmakers voted for impeachment while 110 opposed impeachment, and another 115 abstained.
Following Faraji-Dana's dismissal, Rouhani is expected to nominate a replacement who must be confirmed by Parliament.