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Rouhani, Reformists battle over Cabinet picks

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is facing pushback over his second-term Cabinet appointments.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani waves as he stands next to a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, after he registered for February's election of the Assembly of Experts, the clerical body that chooses the supreme leader, at Interior Ministry in Tehran December 21, 2015. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY     - RTX1ZKHQ

President Hassan Rouhani attended his endorsement ceremony Aug. 3 with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the heads of the other two branches of government. The more significant day for Rouhani, however, will be his swearing-in ceremony Aug. 5, when, in front of an open session of parliament, he will introduce his new Cabinet. Reports that Rouhani consulted with Khamenei over potential candidates have caused the president considerable controversy before his second term has even started.

The first source of controversy was with the supreme leader’s office, which denied that Khamenei was involved in choosing every Cabinet position. A statement on the supreme leader's website announced that all administrations coordinate with Khamenei for ministry positions in foreign affairs, defense and intelligence due to Khamenei’s constitutional duties in those areas. In Iran, the supreme leader is the commander in chief.

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