August 26, 2018 / 8:36 AM / 2 months ago

Iranian parliament removes finance minister from office

(Reuters) - The Iranian parliament voted on Sunday to remove the minister of economic affairs and finance, Masoud Karbasian, from office, state media said, amid a sharp fall in the rial currency and a deterioration in the economic situation.

The move was the latest in a continuing shakeup of top economic personnel as the United States reimposes economic sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme and other issues.

In early August Iranian lawmakers voted out the minister of labor and last month President Hassan Rouhani replaced the head of the central bank.

A total of 137 members of parliament voted for Karbasian’s removal, state media said, while 121 members voted in favor of him remaining in office.

Protests linked to the tough economic situation in the country began last December, spreading to more than 80 cities and towns and resulting in 25 deaths.

Sporadic protests, led by truck drivers, farmers and merchants in Tehran’s bazaar, have continued regularly since then and have occasionally resulted in violent confrontations with security forces.

Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Gareth Jones

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