Three Iranian ministers removed amid president's plan to merge ministries

13:27, May 15, 2011      

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File photo taken on Oct. 11, 2010 shows Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran. 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. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)

Iran's oil minister 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 the Oil Ministry told Xinhua.

In three separate decrees on Saturday, Ahmadinejad dismissed Welfare and Social Security Minister Sadeq Mahsouli, Minister of Industries and Mines Ali-Akbar Mehrabian and Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi from their posts according to the 53rd article of the country's Fifth Five-Year Development Plan, the English language satellite Press TV reported.

The Iranian president expressed gratitude to the ministers for their "honest efforts and services which had an influential role in the successes of the government," said the report.

According to 53rd article of Iran's Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015), the Iranian government is obliged to reduce its ministries form 21 to 17 to officially improve the efficiency of state administration.

Last Monday, the cabinet ministers announced Ahmadinejad government's downsizing plan to merge 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.

The Iranian Majlis (Parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani disagreed on Tuesday with the government plan to merge ministries and warned against "heavy costs" of the plan.

Calling for an end to the "illegal" move of merge of ministries, Larijani said the plan should first be approved by the Majlis.

The government's decision to merge ministries before the Majlis endorsement would be costly and should be stopped, Larijani was quoted as saying by Press TV.

"If the Iranian government communicated an approval on the merger of eight ministries, it has acted against the law," said the speaker.

In response to Larijani's comments, Vice President for Parliamentary Affairs Mohammad-Reza Mir-Tajeddini said that the government acted legally and in accordance with the country's Fifth Five-Year Development Plan.

"The government decided based on the plan and communicated it to the ministers. It also sent the plan to the Majlis to ensure its conformity with law," Mir-Tajeddini was quoted as saying by Press TV.

Source: Xinhua
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