Hard-liners challenge Iran’s proposed Cabinet

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Hard-line Iranian lawmakers have challenged the new president’s proposed Cabinet makeup, accusing him of nominating pro-Western figures and opposition supporters to ministerial posts.

But President Hasan Rouhani told parliament on Monday that his government’s priority will be to ease tensions with the outside world and improve the sanctions-battered economy.

The remarks came as a debate over the proposed Cabinet got under way in parliament. It’s expected to take three days with lawmakers voting on each of the 18-member Cabinet on Wednesday.

Rouhani won a landslide victory in June presidential elections, defeating his conservative rivals. He took the oath of office on Aug. 4 and sent his proposed Cabinet list to the parliament the same day.

Rouhani has urged for dialogue with the West over Iran’s controversial nuclear program.

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