Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a critical letter to Parliament, has proposed a minister for the newly formed ministry of sports and youth.
Parliament speaker Ali Larijani (left) and President Mahmud Ahmadinejad
According to the parliamentary website Khaneh Mellat, Ahmadinejad nominated Hamid Sajjadi for the new post. Sajjadi is deputy of the Physical Education Organization and also a former champion athlete.
In his letter, Ahmadinejad points out several problems with the Parliament-approved plan to form the sports ministry. Mostly he points out that Parliament had told the government to reduce the number of ministries from 21 to 17, which goes against Parliament's other edict to establish the new ministry.
Ahmadinejad also questions the funding sources that have been approved for the new ministry and the legitimacy of Parliament's actions in forcing the new ministry into law.
The president reiterated his opposition to the creation of the sports ministry, saying he is convinced it will harm the Iranian sports community and its future endeavors. However, because he does not wish to see sports and athletes unduly affected by any controversy, Ahmadinejad said he is bowing to Parliament's demand to establish the ministry, nominating Sajjadi as its chief.
Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani dismissed the president's remarks and added: "Introducing the minister should take only a few words, and the rest of the letter is an attempt to justify delays and violations of the legislation."
The bill to form a sports ministry by merging the Physical Education and National Youth Organizations was passed by Parliament in January and approved by the constitutional watchdog, the Guardian Council.
Members of Parliament have been critical of Ahmadinejad's delay in implementing laws it has approved, repeatedly accusing him of breaking the law in recent months.
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