Iran’s parliament on Thursday approved the Cabinet nominations of a suspected terrorist and the first woman minister in the Islamic republic’s 30-year history.
Lawmakers approved the nomination of Ahmad Vahidi for its defense minister post. He is a former leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and one of six former and current Iranian officials sought by Interpol for the bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center 15 years ago.
Of those Cabinet choices approved by parliament, Vahidi won the highest number of votes. Argentina’s Foreign Ministry has deplored the nomination of Vahidi, who is accused of working with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militants in carrying out the 1994 attack.
Marzieh-Vahid Dastjerdi was approved as the nation’s health minister. She is the first female minister since the Islamic republic was founded.
Iranian lawmakers gave their votes of confidence to 18 of the 21 nominees proposed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — who entered a second term of office after a disputed presidential election.
Two of those who failed to get the required majority votes enabling them to start work officially were female nominees: Sousan Keshavarz for the education ministry and Fatemeh Ajorlou for welfare and social security.
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets for more than two weeks to protest the June 12 election results, calling them fraudulent after Ahmadinejad was declared the overwhelming winner. More than 1,000 people were arrested in a government crackdown, and Iran said at least 30 people were killed in post-election violence.