Ahmadinejad to name new cabinet

TEHRAN:Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday that he will submit his new cabinet line-up to parliament for its approval toward the middle of August, the ISNA news agency reported.

"I will introduce the cabinet to parliament early next week," Ahmadinejad said, according to ISNA, without giving a specific date.

In Iran, the week starts on Saturday which means that Ahmadinejad could unveil his cabinet on August 15 or thereafter.

Ahmadinejad was sworn in on Wednesday for a second four-year term after massive opposition to his June 12 election victory sparked the worst crisis for the Islamic republic in its 30-year existence.

He began work on Thursday to set up his new government and had two weeks to submit the line-up to parliament, which will then hold a vote of confidence.

"There will be an unprecedented number of young people in this cabinet," ISNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

He had been criticised during his first tenure for frequently reshuffling the cabinet and for keeping on ministers who lacked experience.

On July 7, Ahmadinejad vowed to make "considerable changes" in his new government, saying that the cabinet will put "housing, employment and economic reform" on its agenda.

Various political figures have advised the president to make "cautious" choices for his new government.

Ahmadinejad came under fire from his own conservative camp last month when he named a controversial aide as his first vice president and later sacked the intelligence minister after a "quarrel" over the appointment.

The nomination of Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie, a confidant and close relative of Ahmadinejad, was strongly opposed by hardliners who are still furious over a remark made by him last year that Iran is a friend of the Israeli people.

The conservative wing of the regime was further irked when Ahmadinejad delayed terminating Rahim Mashaie's appointment despite orders from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to fire him.

The Mehr news agency has said candidates to take over the first vice president's post include government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham and Mojtaba Samereh Hashemi, who led Ahmadinejad's election campaign.