Iranian lawmakers have dismissed the Islamic republic's science minister in a blow to moderate President Hassan Rohani. Conservative legislators targeted Science, Research and Technology Minister Reza Faraji Dana over his support for teachers who are seen as pro-Western or protested after Iran's disputed 2009 presidential election.
Reza Faraji Dana
(photo by Hojjat Sepahvand, Arman daily)
A no-confidence motion against Dana was backed by 145 of the 270 lawmakers present, while 110 supported him and 15 abstained.
Opponents say Dana nominated people who took part in the movement that challenged the reelection of Mahmud Ahmadinejad in 2009 for senior university department posts.
He was also accused of allowing students expelled for "moral and political reasons" to return to university and of tolerating student publications that question Islamic teachings.
His dismissal underscored a rift between hard-liners and Rohani, who was elected last year on promises of greater openness and diplomatic engagement with the West.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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