Iranian Oil Minister Ali Akhbar Moinfar has been cleared of charges that he worked with the former Shah's secret police organisation, SAVAK. The Majlis (Parliament) debated the charges on Sunday (24 August) but found the minister had done no wrong.
GV & SV INTERIOR Iranian Oil Minister Ali Akhbar Moinfar speaking in parliament (2 shots)
SV Mr. Moinfar being heckled and continuing speech (3 shots)
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Background: Iranian Oil Minister Ali Akhbar Moinfar has been cleared of charges that he worked with the former Shah's secret police organisation, SAVAK. The Majlis (Parliament) debated the charges on Sunday (24 August) but found the minister had done no wrong. They also dismissed a charge of mismanagement. After a vote the 270-member parliament approved Mr. Moinfar's credentials.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Moinfar rejected charges that he co-operated with SAVAK in constructing a building to be used for torture. He was also cleared of another charge that he mismanaged his ministry.
Mr. Moinfar defended his record as oil minister. He said Iranian refineries were working at full capacity, but he sharply criticised members of Islamic societies who have purged heads of refineries and other oil experts in the name of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. In the end the 270-member Majlis (Parliament) approved Mr. Moinfar's credentials after two days of debate.
The debate over the allegations against Mr. Moinfar was at times heated, with frequent interjections while he was speaking.
Mr. Moinfar received support outside the Majlis from a leading cleric -- Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri called for an end to what he called excesses in the campaign to purge the administration of the people connected with the former Shah's regime.
The Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri was quoted by the official news agency, Pars, as saying that "some of the country's best brains are being expelled from their extremely valuable jobs."