Appointing new acting oil minister in Iran is political decision

Appointing new acting oil minister in Iran is political decision

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 4 / Trend T. Konyayeva /

Processes and events occurring in Iran, including the current appointment of the minister of oil, are developing without common sense. They are politically motivated and lack professional understanding of the region's oil, U.S professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Southern California ( U.S) Mohammad Sahimi said.

"The easiest way to handle the issue is to appoint someone who is truly an expert on Iran's oil industry," Sahimi told Trend via e-mail. "However, in Iran everything is political and part of the power struggle between different factions within the power hierarchy. Appointing someone to a strategically important ministry, such as oil, is part of the same trend."

On June 2 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose decision to head the oil ministry was declared illegal by the parliament, appointed Mohammad Aliabadi instead, the Iranian state television reported.

Aliabadi has not held any recent positions in the oil industry. Rather, he has led the National Olympic Committee and was the prior director of the fisheries management.

Ali Abadi is utterly disqualified to lead the ministry of oil, Sahimi said.

Abadi has failed in most all of his previously appointments. His advantage is a relative proximity and close friendship with Ahmadinejad, which remains true to the rampant nepotism in the Ahmadinejad administration, Sahimi added.

The head of the parliamentary commission on energy issues, Hamid Reza Katuzian, c alled Aliabadi's appointing acting minister of oil a "bad choice". Katuzian stressed that Aliabadi does not have the necessary experience and expertise in the oil and gas sector. Aliabadi must start from zero, the Mehr news agency reported.

Katuzian added that these decisions threaten the future of the oil and gas industry.

Katuzian said that Ahmadinejad appointed Aliabadi because of the Iranian Parliament's decision to submit the case over violations of the law by Ahmadinejad to the judicial bodies. "However, the Parliament will not withdraw its decision until the candidate is elected to this position," Katuzian added.

On June 1 the Iranian parliament affirmed that President Ahmadinejad's decision to head the oil ministry is unconstitutional. The parliament submitted dossiers to judicial authorities on a number of violations committed by Ahmadinejad as president.

Earlier in May, the Iranian Guard Corps, which directly controls the observance of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, announced Ahmadinejad's self-appointment as the minister of oil to be unconstitutional.

In mid-May, Ahmadinejad announced his decision to temporarily head the Ministry of Oil after the resignation of Oil Minister Seyed Masoud Mir-Kazemi .

Besides Mir-Kazemi, Ahmadinejad dismissed Iran's Minister of Social Welfare and Minister of Industry and Mines. This step was taken to reduce the number of ministers from 21 to 17, which was established during a five-year national development plan, from 2010-2015.

T. Jafarov contributed to this article.

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