Iran’s parliament has approved the appointment of Bijan Zanganeh as the Islamic Republic’s new oil minister.

Zanganeh who held the role between 1997 and 2005 was confirmed after debates in parliament over the make-up of the 18-member cabinet, receiving 166 votes out of 283 on 16 August, according to state-run Shana news agency.

The new oil minister replaces Rostam Qasemi, the former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, who was appointed by former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in August 2011.

During his eight-year tenure, Zanganeh managed to convince a number of international oil companies to invest in Iran’s oil and gas sector, including UK/Dutch Shell Group, France’s Total and Norway’s Statoil. 

He must now deal with Iran’s falling output, which according to oil producers’ group Opec has now fallen to less than 2.7 million barrels a day (b/d), compared to 3.6 million b/d in 2011 and falling behind Iraq as the group’s second largest producer.