Iran's parliament has approved the country's first woman minister, backed a relative novice as oil minister and installed as defence minister a man wanted by Argentina for an attack on a Jewish centre in 1994.

Of three nominated women ministers, only Health Minister Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi was approved.

Deputies rejected three of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's proposed new 21-member cabinet, which followed his disputed re-election in June.

The three nominees who were rejected were the proposed energy, welfare and education ministers.

The outcome of parliament's voting on the nominees was a limited setback for the president, who had four of his first-choice nominees rejected by the assembly in 2005.

Crucially for Mr Ahmadinejad, heavyweight nominees including the oil, defence, intelligence, interior, economy and foreign ministers were all approved by MPs.

The nomination of Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi has been condemned by Argentina.

It accuses him of involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish centre that killed 85 people. Iran has repeatedly denied any link to the attack.

He received the highest number of votes in favour of all nominees, 227 out of 286 members of parliament present.

Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi received the lowest number of votes of the approved ministers, 147.

Iran is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter and crude sales account for most state revenue.

Mr Ahmadinejad has three months to propose new candidates to replace those voted down by the 290-seat parliament.

Despite the rejection of three ministers, the cabinet can still start working and Mr Ahmadinejad has scheduled its first meeting for Sunday.

Separately, it has been confirmed that Mr Ahmadinejad will attend the UN General Assembly meeting later this month in New York.