TEHRAN (Reuters) -Iran”s president made a third attempt to appoint an oil minister of his choice on Tuesday, nominating a petrochemicals official for the top cabinet job in the world”s fourth biggest crude producer.
Parliament”s speaker presented the name of Mohsen Tasalloti in a session broadcast live on state radio. Iranian websites identified Tasalloti as managing director of a special petrochemical trade zone in the southern port of Bandar Imam.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suffered a sharp setback last week when his second nominee for oil minister withdrew after criticism from lawmakers about his wealth and lack of experience. His first candidate, Ali Saeedlou, was rejected along with three other ministerial picks in August.
Problems in finding an oil minister have added domestic embarrassment to the storm Ahmadinejad caused abroad recently by calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map."
The new president has staked his political reputation on putting his close allies from the conservative religious camp into the Islamic Republic”s most prestigious jobs.
A profile delivered to the oil ministry said Tasalloti was born in 1954 and has a degree in architecture. From 1988 to 1999, he was head of construction in the country”s petrochemical organization. He was also deputy governor of the central Markazi province, but it was not clear when he held this position.
Lawmaker Nezam Mola-Hoveizeh said Tasalloti would fare better than the previous two candidates.
"His management background in petrochemicals … shows he is a more capable figure than those introduced before," he told the ISNA students news agency. "His management could get the oil ministry through crises and tough situations."
Mohsen Yahyavi from parliament”s energy commission said he had not received enough material on the nominee to pass comment.
Parliamentarians will vote to approve or reject Tasalloti next week. The process will be closely watched abroad as Iran supplies about 2.4 million barrels of crude to world markets each day.
Many foreign firms, such as Royal Dutch Shell, Italy”s ENI and France”s Total, are also pursuing investment projects in the Islamic Republic.