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EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday issued separate decrees appointing new economy, cooperatives, industries and roads ministers in a reshuffle aimed at mustering support for major economic reforms, as the country faces a looming second wave of US sanctions.

All the new ministers were approved by lawmakers on Saturday during an open session of the 290-seat parliament, according to the president's official website.

In a major show of support for Rouhani, 200 out of 265 parliamentarians voted for Farhad Dejpasand to be the next minister of economic affairs and finance.

Mohammad Shariatmadari, the former minister of industries, mining and trade, received 196 votes to take charge of the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare, according to Financial Tribune.

Reza Rahmani was approved by 203 votes as minister of industries to fill the post previously held by Shariatmadari, and Mohammad Eslami became the minister of roads and urban development with 151 votes.

 

Approaching Sanctions

The decisive votes of confidence could be seen as a morale booster for Rouhani who has come under fire from all sides due to his handling of economic challenges exacerbated by faulty domestic policies and renewed US sanctions. 

Washington reintroduced sanctions against Iran's currency trade, metals and auto sectors in August after it pulled out from a multinational 2015 deal that lifted sanctions in return for limits on Tehran's nuclear program. It also plans to impose new sanctions targeting Iran's vital oil exports on November 4.

European countries have criticized the administration of US President Donald Trump for withdrawing from the accord and have been putting together a package of economic measures to help offset the impact of US pressures on the Iranian economy.

The new financial mechanisms are expected to be legally in place before the next phase of US sanctions takes effect.

In Sunday's decrees, Rouhani called on the new ministers to do everything in their capacity and get help from the right talents to help advance the agenda and priorities of the administration, which are centered on accelerating the country's economic progress and bolstering national security.

 

Reforms Overdue 

In a speech before parliament to urge lawmakers to vote for his proposed ministers, the president said US sanctions have opened up new opportunities for Iran to introduce long-needed fundamental reforms to rejuvenate the economy, particularly the banking sector. 

The enemy's plans are aimed at sowing despair in the nation and putting them under economic pressure, he said, adding that the nation needs to stand together and bring the United States to its knees.

Hossein Ali Amiri, vice president for parliamentary affairs, was quoted as telling reporters on Sunday by ISNA that the approval of the ministerial nominees was the epitome of the "unity, cooperation and understanding" between the administration and Majlis.

"In the current situation where the US administration and the Zionists have waged economic warfare against the Islamic Republic, one of the most important priorities has been to complete the administration's economic team," he said, adding that the latest development reflected the "political maturity" of the Islamic establishment.

 

Iran Hassan Rouhani US sanctions Economic Reforms economy Ministers Revitalize