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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran’s Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare, Ali Rabiei, was sacked by parliament on Wednesday, state media reported, the latest shuffle in top economic posts as the Islamic Republic struggles to stabilise its economy. 

The Iranian economy is beset by high unemployment, a spiralling rial, which has lost half its value since April, and the reimposition of sanctions by the United States.

A total of 129 members of parliament voted that Rabiei be impeached and removed from office, state media said, with 111 members voting in favour of him remaining.  

In late July, President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet appointed a new governor for the central bank, a move seen as a concession to hardline critics who blame the government for economic problems.

Protests linked to the tough economic situation in the country began last December, spreading to more than 80 cities and towns and resulting in 25 deaths.

Sporadic protests, led by truck drivers, farmers and merchants in Tehran’s bazaar, have continued regularly since then and have occasionally resulted in violent confrontations with security forces.

(Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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Reuters