Thursday, 4 August 2011
New oil minister approved by Majlis
But Khatam's ability to secure any external funding has been made almost impossible by US and EU sanctions, which have designated the company a supporter of weapons proliferation. Ghassemi, who unlike his predecessor Massoud Mirkazemi has some oil industry experience, was nominated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the end of July to be full-time minister and the following week received the all-clear from the Majlis or parliament. Ahmadinejad, who is desperate to secure control of the oil sector to increase his political clout, in June nominated a close ally Ali Aliabadi , to be caretaker minister. But Aliabadi, who was most recently head of Iran's Olympic Committee, wasnever going to get parliament's approval.
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