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Iran Lawmakers Reject Rohani's Science Minister Nominee

Iran's conservative-dominated parliament has rejected President Hassan Rohani's nominee for science minister over his pro-reform tendencies.

The parliament on November 18 overwhelmingly voted against the candidacy of Fakhroddin Ahmadi Danesh Ashtiani, who has called himself an "independent" figure and promised to appoint new faces as his deputies.

Ashtiani, 59, had served as deputy science minister under reformist former President Mohammad Khatami.

Another nominee for the science minister post, Mahmud Nili Ahmadabadi, was rejected by parliament in October.

Former Science Minister Reza Faraji Dana was dismissed by parliament in August for allowing the return of students and academics who had been banned from universities following mass protests linked to the controversial 2009 presidential election.

The authorities of the minister of science, research, and technology include oversight of Iran's universities and students.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and RFE/RL's Radio Farda