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Iran Supreme Leader Played Role in Cabinet Approval  

A top Iranian lawmaker says Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei played a role in parliament's approval Thursday of nominees for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Cabinet.

Deputy speaker Mohammad Reza Bahonar said Friday the supreme leader had privately urged lawmakers to approve the nominees. Bahonar says at least eight of the nominees may have been rejected if Mr. Khamenei had not intervened.

Parliament approved 18 nominees put forward by President Ahmadinejad for his 21-member Cabinet, including Ahmad Vahidi, a defense minister, accused of involvement in a 1994 bombing in Argentina.

Lawmakers also approved Iran's first female Cabinet member Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Mr. Ahmadinejad was re-elected in a controversial vote in June. Government opponents say the election was fraudulent, and it set off days of street demonstrations.

Thousands of Iranians were arrested for protesting the outcome of the election.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.