Iranian parliament dismisses transport minister (UPDATE)
Details added after the first paragraph (the first version was posted at 12:40 p.m.)
The Iranian parliament deprived Transport Minister Hamid Behbahani of his authorities today, IRIB News reported.
Roughly 147 MPs voted for his removal, 78 voted against, and nine abstained. In total, 234 of 242 MPs participated in the voting.
Behbahani was called to parliament to make a report on his activities, but failed to appear.
Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani said his failure to appear in parliament was a flagrant violation of the law.
Behbahani is the first minister to be brought before the legislature during the second presidential term of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The MPs called the minister before parliament due to his inability to perform his job responsibly and manage the agency given the sorry state of air transport and the large number of plane crashes.
The reason for reconsidering the minister's activity was the recent Boeing-727 plane crash owned by Iran Air, flying from Tehran to the city of Urmia.
Roughly 77 people died and 26 people were injured.
Behbahani's candidacy for the post of minister was proposed to parliament during Ahmadinejad's first term as president.
At the time, Ahmadinejad faced with the threat of having to form a new cabinet. By the end of his first term, eight ministers were forced to resign and voluntarily left their positions.
A serious scandal during the period was Interior Minister Ali Kordai being called to parliament to present a report on his activity. The minister was accused of falsifying his honorary diploma, which led to his resignation.