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Iran's parliament dismisses labor minister

The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian lawmakers have impeached the country's labor minister over his controversial appointment of an official implicated in the deaths of prisoners.

The development is part of a power struggle between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his conservative rivals in parliament.

Out of 272 lawmakers in the parliament on Sunday, 192 voted against the labor minister, Abdolreza Sheikholeslami.

In response, Ahmadinejad accused parliament speaker Ali Larijani and his relatives of misusing power. Larijani denied the charge.

The lawmakers are angry over the labor minister's decision to appoint Saeed Mortazavi as head of Iran's social security organization.

A parliamentary probe in 2010 found that Mortazavi, then chief Tehran prosecutor, was responsible for the deaths of at least three anti-government protesters who were tortured.