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Iran’s Parliament Votes Out Labor Minister Amid Economic Woes

Iran's parliament has ousted the minister of labor and social welfare in a vote of no confidence as the country struggles to stabilize its economy.

A total of 129 lawmakers voted against Ali Rabei, citing rising unemployment, delayed and unpaid wages, and corruption within his ministry, state media reported on August 8.

Of 243 members of parliament present, 111 voted in favor of Rabei remaining in office.

President Hassan Rohani is expected to appear before parliament in the coming weeks to answer questions about his government's response to Iran's economic difficulties, which have seen the national currency, the rial, lose half its value against the dollar since April.

Sporadic street protests have recently hit Tehran and other cities over high inflation and economic hardships.

Many of Iran's economic woes are related to U.S. moves to increase financial and economic pressure on the country after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers in May.

Earlier this week, Washington began reimposing sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the deal in exchange for curbs on Tehran's nuclear program.

Amid growing public anxiety over Iran's economic woes, Rohani's government appointed a new Central Bank governor in late July, a move seen as a concession to hard-line critics.

On August 5, Iranian authorities detained the Central Bank's vice governor in charge of foreign exchange for alleged economic crimes.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.


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