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DATE=7/22/98 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-235827 TITLE=IRAN / INTERIOR MINISTER (S&L) BYLINE=RICHARD ENGEL DATELINE=CAIRO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: IRAN'S PARLIAMENT APPROVED THE APPOINTMENT OF A NEW INTERIOR MINISTER TODAY (WEDNESDAY). THE APPOINTMENT IS BEING HAILED AS A VICTORY FOR MODERATE PRESIDENT MOHAMMED KHATAMI, WHO HAS BEEN BATTLING WITH IRAN'S CONSERVATIVE HARDLINERS. RICHARD ENGEL REPORTS FROM OUR MIDDLE EAST BUREAU. TEXT: IRAN'S PARLIAMENT APPROVED THE NOMINATION OF ABDOLVAHED MOUSAVI-LARI AS IRAN'S NEW INTERIOR MINISTER BY AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY. THE 44-YEAR-OLD CLERIC IS A KEY ALLY OF MODERATE PRESIDENT KHATAMI. HE PREVIOUSLY SERVED AS MR. KHATAMI'S VICE PRESIDENT FOR LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS. MR. MOUSAVI-LARI'S APPROVAL SEEMED ASSURED TUESDAY WHEN THE PARLIAMENT'S MAJORITY LEADER RELUCTANTLY DECIDED NOT TO OPPOSE THE NOMINATION. IRAN HAS BEEN WITHOUT AN INTERIOR MINISTER SINCE LAST MONTH, WHEN THE HARDLINER-DOMINATED PARLIAMENT VOTED TO IMPEACH THE LAST INTERIOR MINISTER, WHO, LIKE MOUSAVI-LARI, IS A KEY ALLY OF PRESIDENT KHATAMI. IRAN'S INTERIOR MINISTER IS IN CHARGE OF MAINTAINING DOMESTIC ORDER. ///REST OPT FOR LONG /// CONSERVATIVE HARDLINERS HAVE BEEN CHALLENGING PRESIDENT KHATAMI'S SUPPORTERS SINCE HE TOOK OFFICE AFTER A LANDSLIDE VICTORY IN MAY OF 1997. ANOTHER KHATAMI SUPPORTER, THE MAYOR OF TEHRAN, IS ON TRIAL FOR CORRUPTION CHARGES. HARDLINERS ALREADY CONTROL THE ARMED FORCES, THE INTELLIGENCE MINISTRY AND THE COUNTRY'S STATE-RUN MEDIA. POLITICAL ANALYSTS IN IRAN SAY PRESIDENT KHATAMI NEEDS THE INTERIOR MINISTER AS AN ALLY TO COMPLETE HIS REFORMIST PROGRAM, WHICH HAS WON HIM WIDESPREAD POPULARITY. (SIGNED) NEB/RHE/PCF/WTW 22-Jul-98 5:49 AM EDT (0949 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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