Ultraconservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday nominated acting Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Mahaneh to permanently fill the important post, a fourth effort by the president after fellow conservatives in parliament humiliated him by rejecting his three previous choices.
Vaziri Mahaneh, who has acted as caretaker for the past three months, has to win a vote of confidence from parliament to become the minister.
The announcement by Ahmadinejad was read by Parliamentary Speaker Qolam Ali Haddad Adel in an open session of the parliament broadcast live on state-run radio. Parliament now has a week to debate and vote on the nomination of Vaziri, who holds a master's degree in management.
The conservative-dominated parliament handed a major embarrassment to Ahmadinejad last month, rejecting his third straight nominee for the vital post and highlighting splits among the country's conservatives. Lawmakers argued that the proposed nominees lacked sufficient experience to run the Oil Ministry, which controls the industry that generates 80 percent of Iran's public revenues. They also complained that Ahmadinejad failed to consult with parliament before introducing them.
The string of rejections were the first major domestic opposition Ahmadinejad has faced since he came to office after a resounding victory in June elections. It is even more galling since it comes from a legislature dominated by hard-line conservatives like himself.
Iran is the fourth-largest producer of crude oil in the world and the second in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, with a current production quota of around 4.1 million barrels a day. Iran's crude oil exports stand around 2.5 million barrels a day, reported AP. P.T.