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Ahmadinejad Names Hard-Liners to Cabinet | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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TEHRAN, Iran, AP -Iran”s new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presented a Cabinet to parliament on Sunday that featured known hard-liners in the foreign, interior and intelligence ministries.

The conservative lawmaker Manouchehr Mottaki was nominated as foreign minister and a former hard-line deputy intelligence minister, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, was named as interior minister.

The names suggest that Iran will move away from the moderate policies it pursued under the previous president, reformist Mohammad Khatami.

The nominated ministers are widely believed to be followers of Iran”s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a noted conservative who has the final say on all state matters.

The parliament has to pass a vote of confidence in the Cabinet before it takes office.

Ahmadinejad named as intelligence minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehei, a cleric whom reformist journalists regard as an unyielding opponent of press freedom.

The proposed foreign minister, Mottaki, is a hard-liner who has criticized Iran”s nuclear negotiations with the Europeans, saying the country should adopt a tougher position and not make concessions.