Iran's oil minister removed amid plan to merge ministries

13:20, May 15, 2011      

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Iran's Oil Minister Masoud Mir- Kazemi was removed along with two other ministers on Saturday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad amid a plan to merge some ministries of the country, an Information Officer from oil ministry told Xinhua.

Ministers of oil, social welfare and industries and mines were removed in order to reduce the number of the government's ministries from 21 to 17.

The downsizing plan includes mergers of ministries of Roads and Transportation with Housing and Urban Development, Energy with Oil, Industries and Mines with Commerce, and Welfare and Social Security with Labor and Social Affairs.

Iranian Majlis (Parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani, however, claimed on Tuesday that the move was 'illegal' and warned that it would run up 'heavy costs' for the government.

But Ahmadinejad responded on Wednesday that the merger plan was in line with the country's Fifth Five-Year Development Plan.

Source: Xinhua

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