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Iran parliament approves Rohani's top cabinet nominees

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Iran parliament approves Rohani's top cabinet nominees

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Iran’s parliament has approved president Hassan Rohani’s top nominees for cabinet posts. Politicians debated the 18 hopefuls over four days eventually rejecting three minor ministers in a vote held on Thursday. They have three months to vote again on the ministers for sport, education and science.

The three big names are US educated Mohammad Zarif, who will be the Foreign Minister and former oil minister Bijan Zanganeh who will return to the post. Both ministers will be seeking to build bridges with the West. International sanctions over Iran’s nuclear programme has seen oil exports halved since 2011.

The choice of former foreign minister under president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ali Akbar Salehi to head the Atomic Energy Agency on Friday also appears to be a nod to pragmatism according to analysts.

Western states fear Iran’s uranium enrichment is an attempt not to fuel nuclear power stations but to acquire weapons’ grade material. Nuclear talks between the western powers and Iran have consistently failed in the past.