Iran parliament: Ahmadinejad ministry move illegal

Legislature declares that Iranian President's decision to declare himself caretaker oil minister was against law, refers case to judiciary.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 311 (photo credit: MCT)
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 311
(photo credit: MCT)
TEHRAN, June 1 (Reuters) - Iran's parliament said on Wednesday President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad acted illegally by declaring himself caretaker oil minister and referred the case to the judiciary, increasing pressure on him to quit the post.
The legislature, which has repeatedly clashed with Ahmadinejad over key policy issues, voted to approve a report by its energy committee which found Ahmadinejad's move an "obvious violation of law", the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
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Last month Ahmadinejad sacked Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi as part of a plan to merge several ministries to cut their number to 17 from 21, alarming his rivals within the conservative ruling elite.
"Ministers of oil, social welfare and industries and mines were dismissed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in order to slim down the government's ministries from 21 to 17," ISNA said.
Getting approval from parliament, whose speaker Ali Larijani has publicly criticized Ahmadinejad's domestic and economic policies, will not be easy.
Iran's top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has a discretion over key ministries, including oil, foreign, intelligence and interior.