[QODLink]
Middle East
Ahmadinejad names general to run oil ministry
Iranian president nominates Rostam Ghasemi, the head of an engineering firm controlled by the Revolutionaty Guard.
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2011 14:16
Ahmadinejad sacked the oil minister and replaced him with a caretaker the following month [EPA]

Iran's president has nominated Brigadier General Rostam Ghasemi, a senior commander in the Revolutionary Guard, as the country's next oil minister.

Ghasemi is the head of Khatam al-Anbia, an engineering firm with a number of high-profile contracts in Iran's oil and gas sector.

He is also subject to United States sanctions, and is one of six Revolutionary Guard commanders placed under European Union sanctions last year. The sanctions bar him from travelling in the EU, which would seemingly make it impossible for Ghasemi to attend OPEC's quarterly summits in Vienna.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, sacked the former oil minister in May, and in June he appointed Mohammad Aliabadi, a close ally, as the caretaker oil minister. Aliabadi has little experience in the oil sector - he was previously a sports official - and he has been dogged in the past by allegations of corruption.

Ahmadinejad was expected to appoint Aliabadi as the permanent minister, but several members of parliament have criticised that idea in recent weeks.

Hamid-Reza Katouzian, the head of parliament's energy committee, said last month that Aliabadi was the "worst choice" for the job.

Iran's oil industry has come under increasing pressure in recent months due to international sanctions. India, one of Iran's major customers, owes Tehran billions of dollars in dues which it cannot pay due to banking sanctions; Iran has threatened to cut back its exports to India, which has started buying more Saudi oil in response.

Sanctions have also hurt Iran's ability to attract foreign investment in the oil sector, and Ghasemi's appointment could suggest that Iran plans to rely more on domestic contractors in the future.

Ahmadinejad also nominated several other ministers, for sport and youth; industry, trades and mining; and labour and social security. All of the nominations are subject to parliamentary approval.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.