Ebrahim Raisi
Ebrahim RaisiReuters

Iran's parliament on Wednesday approved almost all of new President Ebrahim Raisi's cabinet choices, AFP reported.

Lawmakers approved one-by-one 18 out of 19 candidates put forward by the ultra-conservative Raisi for the ministerial posts, according to the report.

They rejected only his pick for the education portfolio, thus requiring the president to make another choice for that post.

Raisi, 60, was recently sworn in as President following his landslide victory in an election in June.

He has come under fire his role in a series of mass executions in 1988 – executions which led some to call Raisi the “Butcher of Tehran”. Some 5,000 people were killed in the executions, which critics calling a purging of political prisoners.

Raisi was a member of a so-called “death panel” which sentenced prisoners to death during the mass executions. When asked recently about his past actions, he claimed that he is a “defender of human rights”.

The UN investigator on human rights in Iran recently called for an independent inquiry into allegations of the state-ordered executions in Iran and the role played by Raisi.

While Raisi was sworn in by parliament in early August, the outgoing administration remained at the helm until Wednesday's parliamentary vote.

The confidence vote in the strictly conservative line-up -- all men -- will allow Raisi to begin leaving his mark.

The president announced on Saturday that his government's first priority will be the battle against coronavirus, closely followed by the economy.