|Photo by: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid|
Iran parliament calls for interrogating Ahmadinejad
By JOANNA PARASZCZUK
Iranian president has 1 month to address 2nd summons of year, as lawmakers seek answers on mismanagement of economy.
Iran’s parliament heard a motion on Sunday calling for President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad to be summoned for questioning over the country’s deteriorating
According to Iranian media reports, a group of 77
lawmakers signed the motion, three more than the minimum required under the
Lawmakers want to question Ahmadinejad on two
issues: his alleged mismanagement of the economy and the resultant currency
crash, and accusations that the government allowed the import of luxury goods,
according to Mashregh News, which is closely affiliated with Iran’s
Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Ahmadinejad will now have a month to address
The motion, read during Sunday’s parliamentary open session,
accused Ahmadinejad of failing to address the foreign exchange fluctuations that
had led to a sharp depreciation of Iran’s national currency.
past year, the Iranian rial has plummeted dramatically in value against the
dollar and other hard currencies.
Iran’s economic woes have heightened
rifts within the country’s political factions, with Iranian lawmakers blaming
Ahmadinejad as much as Western sanctions for the currency crash.
accusations regarding unauthorized imports come after the parliament’s industry
committee vowed last month to investigate allegations that 750 luxury cars were
imported illegally using US dollars bought at a special government rate intended
only for vital goods like medicines and food.
The renewed call for
Ahmadinejad to be interrogated is the result of renewed efforts by lawmakers
after a petition signed by 102 MPs last month was blocked.
If this new
move goes ahead it will mean that Ahmadinejad must face his second interrogation
In an unprecedented move in March, lawmakers subjected the
president to an hour-long interrogation over his cabinet appointments, his
economic policies and his increasingly fraught relationship with Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Khamenei’s relationship with his former protege
Ahmadinejad soured in March after the president tried to fire Intelligence
Ministry chief Heydar Moslehi, whose dismissal Khamenei immediately
The parliamentary motion to interrogate Ahmadinejad comes
after the president bowed to Khamenei’s authority after the president’s very
public spat with the head of Iran’s judiciary, Sadegh Larijani, who refused
Ahmadinejad permission to visit his media adviser, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, in
Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. In a harsh warning last week, Khamenei said
politicians’ infighting was tantamount to treason.
In a letter written to
Khamenei and posted on the president’s official website Ahmadinejad vowed to
obey the supreme leader’s orders not to air “domestic quarrels” in
However, in a dig at Sadegh Larijani, Ahmadinejad pointed out
that his rank of president was “the highest official rank after the supreme
Sadegh and his brother, parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, are
two of the president’s leading conservative opponents.
Last week the
brothers both wrote to Khamenei to say they would comply with the supreme
leader’s order that senior government officials must not argue publicly ahead of
the 2013 presidential election.