Iran's Guardian Council (GC) throws its weight behind a bill passed by the country's Parliament (Majlis) to merge five ministries into two new ministries, the council's spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei says.
On June 29, Iranian lawmakers approved the merger of the three ministries of Welfare and Social Security, Labor and Social Affairs as well as Cooperatives into the new Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Security.
The legislators also passed a bill to merge the ministries of Industries and Mines and Commerce to institute the new Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade.
On Sunday, the Guardian Council said that a double-urgency bill to establish the two new ministries does not run counter to the Constitution, Majlis news agency (ICANA) reported.
The announcement came after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a decree on June 29 declaring the establishment of the new Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, following the Majlis vote of confidence to Ali Nikzad, the president's candidate to run the ministry.
On May 9, the Iranian government announced plans to merge the Ministries of Roads and Transportation with Housing and Urban Development, Energy with Oil, Industries and Mines with Commerce, and Welfare and Social Security with Labor and Social Affairs in line with the 53rd article of the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan.
According to Iran's Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015), the Iranian government is obliged to reduce its ministries from 21 to 17 to improve the efficiency of the country's administration.