Parliament challenges new Mortazavi appointment

KURDPA - A number of Iranian MPs have criticized the appointment of Saeed Mortazavi to head the Social Security Fund, saying it could lead to the impeachment of the Minister of Cooperatives, Employment and Social Security, Abdolreza Sheykholeslamt

MP Parviz Saravari told the Mehr News Agency: “The appointment of Mortazavi to this position is not appropriate. Certain issues have been suggested about Mr. Mortazavi which could cause concern among the members of the organization and politicize the fund.”

He added that the Minister of Employment should immediately rescind the appointment or Mortazavi himself should step down voluntarily.

Otherwise, he said, a motion to impeach the minister, which has already been written and signed by the necessary number of MPs, will be put to debate and a vote.

Mortazavi, the former Tehran Prosecutor and head of Task Force against Smuggling, was appointed to head the Social Security Fund on Saturday. Charges against Mortazavi regarding his involvement in the torture and death of inmates at Kahrizak Prison have made this appointment highly controversial.

Kahrizak Prison was shut down by order of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei after news of the torture and death of detainees hit the media.

Mortazavi has been accused of orchestrating the transfer of election protesters to this prison, knowing they would be subjected to abuse. He was removed from his position as Tehran Prosecutor when the scandal became too hot to handle but he appears to enjoy strong support from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has consistently found Mortazavi a position within his administration.