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Iran's Parliament to Vote on Cabinet Nominees


Iran's parliament is in its fourth and possibly final day of debate about President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Cabinet nominations.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on nominees for the 21 member Cabinet late Wednesday, after the final eight proposed ministers present their plans. While lawmakers have endorsed one controversial nominee already, others have been criticized for a lack of qualifications.

Meanwhile, the chief of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards accused former president Mohammad Khatami of challenging the role of the country's supreme leader.

Official Iranian media quoted General Mohammad Ali Jafari as saying that Khatami and his allies had sought to undermine Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's authority and encouraged protests following the vote.

The accusations could place Khatami and his allies at greater risk of being directly punished by government hard-liners.

On Tuesday, Iran's parliament endorsed President Ahmadinejad's choice for defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, a man Argentina says was involved in the bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center.

No lawmakers voted against the nomination of Vahidi.

Mr. Vahidi is wanted by the international police agency (Interpol) for alleged ties to the deadly bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Argentina 15 years ago. A total of 85 people were killed in that attack.

On Monday, several conservative Iranian lawmakers objected to one of three female nominees put forward by President Ahmadinejad.

Education Minister-designate Sousan Keshavarz appeared in parliament to present her agenda, and some lawmakers accused her of lacking the experience needed for the job.

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