Opposition mounts to Ahmadinejad cabinet
Top Iranian lawmakers voiced strong opposition on Monday to some of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's proposed ministers, including women, on the second day of a heated debate on his cabinet line-up.
Parliament is due to hold a vote of confidence on the 21-member cabinet on Wednesday but the hardline Ahmadinejad is battling to win support even from conservative MPs who complained about the inclusion of women and charged that many of his nominees lacked experience.
On Monday, lawmakers openly objected to one of the three women Ahmadinejad has picked, the first time in the 30-year history of the Islamic republic that Iran would have female cabinet ministers.
Education minister-designate Sousan Keshvaraz, dressed in a black chador, sought to win the support from a hostile parliament by showcasing her Islamic credentials and her plans for the post.
But parliament's education commission chief Ali Abbaspour, a powerful conservative, strongly opposed her candidacy.
"If Keshavarz gets the vote, then we have no choice but to impeach her," he warned. "She has only a year's experience... and is talking of the same programmes outlined by previous ministers. The president has to nominate a strong minister."