شنبه ۸ آبان ۱۳۹۵ تهران ۰۱:۳۹ - ۲۹ اکتبر ۲۰۱۶
The conservative-dominated Majles on Wednesday narrowly approved head of the social security organization to head the new welfare and social security ministry, which conservatives saw as a last-minute ploy by Khatami’s reformist government to take the control of powerful and independent "charitable" religious-economic cartels away from the top clerics. June 14, 2004 – A small majority of Majles deputies approved Khatami’s nominee to head the new ministry of welfare and social security, a ministry conservatives opposed. Mohammad Hossein Sharif-Zadegan, 51, head of the social security organization for the last three years, received 132 of 259 votes cast with 113 against and 14 abstentions.
“Conservatives intend to avoid friction with Khatami in order to win more votes for the presidential elections (in mid-2005),” Reuters quoted Tehran-based reformist economic journalist Saeed Leylaz.
Reformist MPs argued the new ministry was needed to bring order to the massive social security system and dozens of semi-governmental charities, among them, some of the largest economic cartels in the Middle East, such as the Foundation for the Dispossessed (Bonyad Mostazefan) and the Imam Aid Committee (Komiteh-ye Emdad-e Emam) and Panzdah Khordad Foundation.
Conservatives were worried that Sharif-Zadegan -- a member of Khatami cabinet -- would gain control over several conservative-run charities and financial institutions which have enjoyed great independence, Reuters quoted “analysts” in its dispatch.
In a debate aired live on the Majles radio channel, several conservative MPs argued Sharif-Zadegan lacked experience for the post and said the creation of a new ministry ran counter to the goals of the fourth five-year economic plan, which calls for cutting the size of the government.
“I hope it serves as a beginning for good cooperation between the parliament and the government," President Khatami said.