Iran parliament approves majority of Rouhani Cabinet picks

Iranian lawmakers have approved 16 Cabinet members nominated by recently re-elected President Hassan Rouhani.

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani said lawmakers Sunday approved 16 of 17 proposed ministers, among them Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh.

The nominee for energy minister, Habibolalh Bitaraf, was not approved. During a review, lawmakers criticized him for lacking a plan to fight the longstanding drought and water crisis in the country, where many towns and cities suffer from shortage.

Iran's Cabinet has 18 ministerial posts but Rouhani did not propose a candidate for ministry of science, which is in charge of higher education.

Under Iranian law, the president can manage ministries which have no leader for up to three months.