Iran's parliament summons Ahmadinejad

2012-02-07 17:58

Tehran - Iran's parliament on Tuesday decided to summon President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning over a long list of accusations, including that he mismanaged the nation's economy.

The summons was the first of its kind for an Iranian president since 1979. It follows a petition by a group of lawmakers for a review of policy decisions by Ahmadinejad, who has come under increasing attacks in recent months from the same hard-liners who brought him to power.

It is also part of a power struggle on the Iranian political scene ahead of March 2 parliamentary elections and the 2013 presidential vote.

Mohammad Reza Bahnoar, the parliament deputy speaker, said lawmakers have demanded that Ahmadinejad answer a slew of questions on the economy, including purportedly bypassing a special budget for the Tehran subway and public transportation.

He is also to be queried about foreign and domestic policy decisions.

"There is a requirement for the president to answer questions in an open session of the parliament," said Bahnoar, whose parliament speech was broadcast live on Iranian state radio.

A letter containing the summons is to be sent to Ahmadinejad in next two days, according to the parliament statement. Under Iranian law, he has up to appear in parliament after one month.

It's unclear what would happen if Ahmadinejad fails to appear before parliament.

Power struggle

Ahmadinejad will also be asked why he "hesitated for 11 days" to act on a demand Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to reinstate intelligence minister, Heidar Moslehi, who was sacked by Ahmadinejad in 2011, and to elaborate on his snap dismissal of former foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, during a trip to Africa.

The power struggle has pitted Ahmadinejad against Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters in Iran. Ahmadinejad and his policies have been the target of criticism by lawmakers, clerics as well as state-run media.

Other questions that will be put to the president include those about Iran's slacking economic growth, and why his administration failed to promote the Islamic dress code that calls for women to wear the traditional veil.

Lawmakers behind the initiative allege Ahmadinejad promoted Iranian nationalism instead of Islamic values.

According to the statement, Ahmadinejad is also to explain his ties to Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, whose daughter is married to the president's son.

Ahmadinejad's opponents contend he is trying to push Mashei for president after his own term expires next year.

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 18:14

    More great news, we may see the end of this little tyrant, who is bringing the world closer to global warefare with every insane utterance he makes!!

      Squeegee - 2012-02-07 18:55

      Ivan, you are missing the point. Those who are asking questions are even more radical and fanatical than this despot. Downhill from here.

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-02-07 19:15

      Squeegee, you are absolutely right about that, but getting rid of him offers the opportunity for them to put the brakes on the nuclear advancement mission they on, I say "opportunity", not that they would. It's also as Nigel below says, they have a oil based economy and with the sanctions piling up can they afford to take the world on?

      John - 2012-02-07 19:42

      ivan, I think the biggest issue is the iranian nationalism X islamic values. Remember the Taliban, created and funded by the pakistan military intelligence, and trooped by the pakistan madras, attacked everybody else in Afghanistan accusing them of NOT being muslim enough! Also, if you are muslim enough, like the robots from the madras, than you fight for islam anywhere in the world. If you are an iranian nationalist, than you fight for Iran in Iran.

      Fidel - 2012-02-08 02:34

      How is Ahmedinajed a tyrant if he has been voted for in national elections and is accountable to the parliament of that country. You have listened to too much US and Israeli propaganda. It is about time that you taxed your brain.

      Godfrey - 2012-02-08 05:45

      @Fidel Only candidates and parties that do not oppose the religious system of the governance (Velayate faqih) can participate in elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is enforced by the clerical Guardian Council which vets candidates. Some democracy. Its a bloody theocracy with the accent on blood.

      Fred - 2012-02-08 06:33

      Clearly it's you, Fidel, who's been taken in by propaganda.

  • Nigel - 2012-02-07 18:25

    let him continue to flap his lips, he will destroy Iran, 90% of Irans GDP comes from oil, cut this off & they are nobody. It time the Iranian people sorted this idiot out.

      Fred - 2012-02-07 21:22

      Muedes, the so-called West is standing on higher principles of human rights and greater freedom for the Syrian people, principles that are still evading you even after the downfall of the Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan dictators. There's still time to change. :)

      Dirk - 2012-02-07 21:34

      This sitting of parliament should be a good occasion to attack, taking in a secondary target.Go IAF

  • Zwelakhe - 2012-02-07 18:28

    Is he starting to lose ground?

      Fred - 2012-02-07 21:23

      Twelve months from now the Iranian regime will be out.

      Fred - 2012-02-08 08:51

      We'll see Patrick, we'll see. I'll look out for you. You've already been found out with your support of Gaddafi. Remember him?

  • Fidel - 2012-02-08 02:36

    Democracy is working in Persia! Imagine Zuma being made to account by our local parliament.

      Godfrey - 2012-02-08 05:46

      Sorry, wrong choice of word. You mean theocracy. Only candidates and parties that do not oppose the religious system of the governance (Velayate faqih) can participate in elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is enforced by the clerical Guardian Council which vets candidates.

      Fred - 2012-02-08 06:37

      Fidel, it's important that you educate yourself on what is really going on in Iran. Pretty much everything you're saying is wrong. Your ignorance is glaring. I think only Robert Mugabe and Hugo Chavez refer to Iran as a democracy. :)

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