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In new blow to president, Iran's parliament rejects Rouhani's nominee for science minister

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TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's conservative-dominated parliament has dismissed President Hassan Rouhani's nominee for the post of science minister, arguing that the candidate isn't fully committed to Islamic values.

The development underscores the growing rift between Rouhani and his hard-line opponents in parliament who accuse him of giving ground to pro-Western voices in the name of moderation.

The 290-seat house on Wednesday rejected Mahmoud Nili Ahmadabadi with a 160-79 vote against him. There were 246 lawmakers in attendance and seven abstained from voting.

Rouhani nominated Ahmadabadi last week after parliament in August dismissed Reza Faraji Dana over his alleged support for pro-Western voices at universities.

Lawmakers also accuse Ahmadabadi of not distancing himself from protests over the disputed 2009 presidential elections that gave Rouhani's predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a second term in office.

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