Iranian parliament approves new trade and industry minister

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s parliament on Tuesday approved President Hassan Rouhani’s nominee for trade and industry minister.

Ali Reza Razmhosseini will take on the post as Iran faces an unprecedented economic downturn amid intense pressure from the United States after President Donald Trump pulled America out of Iran’s nuclear with world powers and reimposed sanctions on the country.

The sanctions have sent the country’s economy into freefall. Iran’s currency has dropped to its lowest value ever against the dollar.

Parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf said the 290-seat chamber voted 175-80 in favor of Razmhosseini. There were 264 lawmakers at the session and nine abstained.

In May, Rouhani dismissed the former trade and industry minister, Reza Rahmani, after car prices skyrocketed by more than 60% in a few weeks.

The vote came after lawmakers rejected the previous nominee in August. Razmhosseini, 58, a veteran of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, has served in various governmental posts including governor of the northeastern province of Khorasan Razavi.

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