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Parliament Impeaches Labor Minister As Economy Deteriorates

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Islamic Republic’s parliament gave a no-confidence vote to Labor Minister Ali Rabiei in its August 8 meeting, after giving him a chance to defend his record.

This was the second time in six months that parliament was voting on a no-confidence measure against the minister. The first time five months ago, he escaped impeachment by only one vote.

As Iran’s economic situation has deteriorated in recent months, the establishment and particularly conservatives have tried to portray President Hassan Rouhani’s economic team as being mainly responsible for the increasing hardships citizens face.

According to state-run ISNA, Rabiei was impeached by 129 to 111 votes. This gives president Rouhani three months to find a replacement.

In his defense Rabiei asked members of parliament if impeaching a minister will solve the country’s economic problems. “Five months from now…people will ask if there have been any fundamental improvements”, he said.

In an interview before his impeachment, Rabiei had said that U.S. sanctions will increase economic pressures and until March 2019 one million jobs will be lost.

ISNA, quoting a member of parliament’s presidium, had reported on August 4 that in addition to Rabiei three more ministers will be impeached; the ministers of economy, education and interior.

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