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Iran Dismisses Minister

Faraji-Dana: censure vote passed

Office of the President of the Islamic Republic of IranFaraji-Dana: censure vote passedOffice of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Iranian legislature approved the petition for the impeachment of Minister of Science, Research, and Technology Reza Faraji-Dana, thus handing Iran’s moderate president Hassan Rouhani a defeat. In July, the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had harshly criticized administration of the country’s universities under Faraji-Dana, after he had allowed the re-enrollment of students and professors who had been expelled from universities for participating in the 2009 protests against the government of conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The minister was accused in the petition of “politicizing” the academic environment. Faraji-Dana was president of the University of Teheran and has studied electrical engineering at the University of Waterloo, in Canada. President Rouhani has named Mohammad Ali Najafi to serve as interim minister of science but, according to The Huffington Post, he will likely submit a more palatable name to the legislature in order to avoid a new confrontation. Last year, Najafi was appointed to the Ministry of Education, but the legislature refused to confirm him.