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Three replacement ministers OK'd by Iranian parliament

Iran's parliament approved the nominations of three new ministers Monday and allowed Prime Minister Mir-Hossein Mussavi to take over responsibility for two other ministries, including defense, for two months.

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The decision eased an embarrassing situation for Mr. Musavi, who lost a quarter of his Cabinet last week when parliament, known as the Majlis, refused the ministers votes of confidence. Three replacements - for industry, culture, and for health - were approved with comfortable majorities. The Majlis also authorized Mr. Mussavi to take responsibility for the still-vacant ministries of defense and education.