Amid Iran’s crisis, parliament impeaches Rouhani-allied labor minister

Labor minister Ali Rabiei, 62, was one of President Rouhani’s most prominent allies.

:: The Iranian parliament on Wednesday, impeached labor minister Ali Rabiei, a close ally of president Hassan Rouhani, after months of mounting anger over the government’s handling of an economic crisis which has deepened with the reimposition of US sanctions.

According to Iranian Fars news agency, Rabiei lost a confidence motion in parliament by 129 votes to 111 against with 3 abstened, out of 243 votes which automatically means he is dismissed from office.

Rubaie, 62, was one of President Rouhani’s most prominent allies and was an adviser to former reformist president Mohammad Khatami between 1997 and 2005.

Rouhani has three months’ time to replace Rabiei.

During his speech in parliament, Rabiei accused Iran’s hardliners in the House of targeting the Rouhani government, as a hearing is expected to be held for minsters of interior, economy and education, a move considered by observers intented to corner president Rouhani’s government and discourage it from any negotiations with the Americans.

In recent weeks, Rouhani has come under immense pressures in order to undertake a major reshuffle of his economic team.

The latest internal developments come at a time when the United States re-imposed tough, unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic on Tuesday, bringing back into effect tough penalties that had been lifted under a historic, multi-party nuclear agreement that President Donald Trump abandoned in May.

But Iran faces mainly long-standing economic problems like unemployment and slow investment, where the current economic team seemed unable to provide any solutions.

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