Iran: Lawmakers reject 3 Rouhani nominees but approve major posts



Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a parliament session to elect the cabinet members on August 15, 2013 in Tehran. Iran MPs approve 15 of Rouhani's 18 cabinet picks.



Iranian lawmakers approved most of new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's cabinet posts, rejecting only three out of 18 nominees after four days of intense debate, according to the Associated Press

The assembly of a new cabinet was the first major political test of for Rouhani, a believed moderate sworn into office on August 3

In Iran's theocratic republic, presidential candidates are selected by a committee guided by the Supreme Leader and then campaign in a general election, but presidential power is limited. 

Parliament did approve Rouhani's choices for several influential posts. His pick for foreign minister, the American-educated Mohammad Javad Zarif, who previously served as a United Nations envoy and was heavily involved in nuclear talks with the West, is one such example, according to Reuters. (His Facebook page has been plastered with congratulations.)

Lawmakers also agreed that Bijan Zanganeh, who served under former reformist president Mohammad Khatami, should again serve as oil minister, said Reuters.

The three rejected were Mohammad-Ali Najafi, who also served under Khatami, for education minister; Jafar Milimonfared, who previously served in the ministry of science, for minister of science, research and technology; and Masoud Soltanifar, a former provincial governor in the northwest of the country, for minister of youth and sports, according to Azerbaijan's Trend

The AP cited parliament speaker Ali Larijani as saying Najafi and Milimonfared were not confirmed because of their alleged role in the 2009 post-election unrest, in which demonstrations reached the scale of the 1979 rallies that swept the nation's Islamic authorities to power. 

Soltanifar was rejected for not having enough experience, said the AP