Rostam Ghassemi, a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps and commander of the IRGC Khatam-ol-nabia Construction Camp, is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s choice to run the Ministry of Oil, Iranian media report.
The Khabar-on-line website reports that Ahmadinejad will soon officially present Ghassemi to Parliament.
The report adds that talks between the Ghassemi and the administration have been going on for more than a month, and the IRGC’s refusal to relinquish Ghassemi had delayed negotiations. However, Ahmadinejad met with IRGC commanders on Thursday, and an agreement was reached to allow Ghassemi to lead the Ministry of Oil.
The Khatamol-nabia Construction Camp is directly linked to the IRGC and is one the country’s largest construction contractors for large road and rail projects, as well as oil, gas and petrochemical developments.
Ghassemi also served as an MP in the third and fifth Parliaments.
In the course of merging ministries, Ahmadinejad removed his former minister of oil, Massoud MirKazemi, and took the helm himself as interim minister.
Earlier reports that former Ahmadinejad aide Mohammad Aliabadi was the president’s choice for the oil ministry drew immediate criticism from Parliament. Several MPs rejected the choice, insisting he did not have the necessary background to take over the country’s most vital ministry.