Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami, whom the newly re-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently nominated for the position of defense minister, met with the majority Wilayat faction of the country's parliament and briefed them on his program in the event of being approved as a member of the cabinet, local media reported Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Rouhani submitted a list of candidates for ministerial positions to the Iranian parliament, which will examine the nominees and either approve or reject the proposed cabinet composition. Hatami, a former deputy defense minister, was suggested to be promoted to the ministerial office. In the event of parliamentary approval, Hatami will become the first regular army representative in the defense ministerial position, previously occupied exclusively by hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps offshoots.
According to Tasnim News Agency, the possible minister-to-be said that he intended to focus on developing the Iranian missile program, as well as air, maritime and land defense potential of the Islamic Republic, adding that the country's military industry expanded on-land weaponry production by 320 percent, missile production by 150 percent and maritime production by 130 percent over the last four years.
Hatami also mentioned that the country's military sector successfully pushed forward the capabilities of the Iran-made Bavar 373 long-range air defense missile system.
The minister nominee assured the lawmakers that for the forthcoming four years the defense ministry will work in close cooperation with the parliament and other ministries, joining their efforts to strengthen the country's defense capabilities.
Hatami also brought up his earlier army experience, mentioning his crucial part in setting up massive military exercises of the Iranian Armed Forces after the United States deployed its military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The reformist Wilayat faction occupies the majority of seats in the Iranian parliament, which is to vote on the proposed list of cabinet nominees within a week.