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Iran Lawmakers Approve Third Rohani Science Minister Pick

Iran's conservative-dominated parliament has approved a new science minister after rejecting pro-reform President Hassan Rohani's two previous nominees for the job.

Lawmakers on November 26 confirmed Iranian Red Crescent chief Mohammad Farhadi in the post by a vote of 197 to 28.

The science minister is also responsible for Iran's universities and students, whose political activities are closely watched by the regime.

Farhadi served as health minister from 1997 to 2001 under reformist president Mohammad Khatami.

Earlier this month, the parliament overwhelmingly voted against the candidacy of Fakhroddin Ahmadi Danesh Ashtiani over his reformist tendencies.

Another nominee, Mahmud Nili Ahmadabadi, was rejected in October.

The post had been vacant since August, when Reza Faraji Dana was dismissed for allowing the return of students and academics who had been banned from universities following protests over Iran's disputed 2009 presidential election.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP