Who Might Serve in Rowhani’s Cabinet?

Elections 2013 Candidates, Left to Right: Mohmmad Reza Aref, Gholamali Hadad-Adel, Ali Akbar Velyati, Ali Akbar Nategh-Nori

From Left to Right: Mohmmad Reza Aref, Gholamali Hadad-Adel, Ali Akbar Velyati, Ali Akbar Nategh-Nori

The Iranian president elect, Hassan Rowhani, is going to be sworn into office in less than 50 days and then based on the country’s constitution he has to introduce his ministers to the Parliament in two weeks.

Before the election, Rowhani pledged to use individuals with different political tendencies in his administration. It seems that he is under pressure from some figures, political parties, and the media who try to influence his decisions for appointing his ministers. One of these figures is Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who supported Rowhani in his presidential campaign. He has advised Rowhani to use “qualified and experienced people in industry and manufacturing.”

According to a  website close to the Hashemi’s family Rowhani has formed an ‘Appointment Committee’ responsible for the appointment of ministers. The committee includes Ali Yonesi, Akbar Torkan, eshagh Jahangiri, Mohammad Ali Najafi, Mohammadreza Nematzadeh who all served as top officials and ministers during Hashemi’s presidency.

So far, the only person whom Rowhani has named as a member of his cabinet is Mohammad Reza Aref, the Reformist Candidate who withdrew from the presidential race under pressures by reformists’ leader and former president Mohammad Khatami and Rowhani’s supporters.

There are speculations about Rowhani’s possible ministers. Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, Ali Akbar Velayati and Mohsen Rezaee who were among his rivals in the election are said to be among the appointments as Rowhani promised in the pre-election debates to use his rivals in his administration.

It is said that Ghalibaf would be offered the Housing Ministry, Rezaee the Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs, and Velayati the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council.

For the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there are three possible candidates: Mahmoud Vaezi, Rowhani’s political representative in his presidential campaign, Ali Akbar Salehi the current foreign minister and Kamal Kharrazi Khatami’s foreign minister, all of them said to an equal chance to get the position.

Aref, Najafi, and Mohsen Mehralizadeh are thought to be his options for vice presidency and Ali Yonesi for Ministry of Information.

Based on a speculation, Ali Akbar Nategh Noori a well-known revolutionary figure who has severed under Mirhossein Mousavi as the interior minister and also headed the fourth and fifth parliaments will be appointed as the Minister of Interior and a weaker speculation gives Eshagh Jahangiri the same chance.

Presidential Candidate Mohammad Reza Aref (left), former Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami (Right).

Presidential Candidate Mohammad Reza Aref (left), former Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami (Right).

Bijan Namdar zangane who served under, Mousavi, Hashmeni, and Khatami as minister is said to be appointed as Oil Minister, with Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh being the second choice for the position.

For the ministry of Defense, three options are talked about: Ali shamkhani, Akbar Torkan, and above the two, Hossein Dehghan who also was vice president during Khatami and Ahmadinejad administrations.

Ali Akbar Salehi, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, and Hossein Freidoni are said to be the candidates for heading the country’s Atomic Energy Organization.

For the Ministry of Industry, Mining, and Business the possible candidates are Mohammad Shariatmadari, Nematzadeh, and Mohammad Nahavandian and for the Ministry of Economy the speculations fall on Mohammad Bagher Nobakht.

Rowhani is being fully observed for his possible choice for the Ministry of Science due to what he promised to students before the election. Abdollah Jasbi, Jafar Tofighi and Ali Abbaspour are considered as possible candidates for the position.

It is speculated that Ali Motahhari is going to be appointed as the Minter of Culture. Motahhari is a devoted supporter of Hashemi and despite favoring freedom of expression he has strict views about hijab and public morals.

Iran is hosting the Friends of Syria Conference in the capital, Tehran, with the participation of representatives from 40 countries as well as heads of regional and international organizations on May 29,2013.

Iran is hosting the Friends of Syria Conference in the capital, Tehran, with the participation of representatives from 40 countries as well as heads of regional and international organizations on May 29,2013.

The Ministry of Sports is probably going to be taken by either Sayyed Mostafa Hashemi-Taba or Mohammad Dadkan, both suggested to Rowhani by champions of different sports.

The current Minister of Justice Morteza Bakhtiari has a high chance to remain in the position but Abbas-Ali Shooshtari is also another possible candidate who has served in the position before.

The president-elect is said to offer Ministry of Helath to Salahoddin Delshad or Masood Pezeshkian.

His possible candidate for the Ministry of Communication would be Nasrollah Jahangard, and for the Ministry of Roads and Urban Developments among the possible candidates are Ali Abdolalizadeh and Ali Akbar Aghaee.

None of these speculations have been officially approved by Rowhani so far.

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