According to the Iranian parliament President Ahmadinejad’s economic policies are hurting the country, he has no respect for the legislative process or the religious authority. I guess Iranians and Americans have more in common than I thought.
In an unprecedented move, Ahmadinejad was hauled in front of the legislature to defend his actions, and threatened with impeachment if the answers were unsatisfactory. This was the latest step in the battle between the president on one side and the legislature and Supreme leader on the other.
The meeting was very contentious:
Ahmadinejad sniped back defiantly at his questioners, displaying some of the populist touch that has won him a mass following despite his strained ties with clerical leaders.
The summons follows a long-awaited petition by a group of parliamentarians 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.
Conservative lawmaker Ali Motahari, a prominent opponent of the president, read out a series of 10 questions to Ahmadinejad in an open session of parliament broadcast live on state radio.
Some of the most hard-hitting focused on Ahmadinejad’s alleged defiance of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all matters of state, over the choice of intelligence chief.
Ahmadinejad resisted for 11 days an order from Khamenei to reinstate intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi, who had been sacked by the president in April 2011.
The president, who appeared in parliament accompanied by eight senior Cabinet members, was also asked about a dramatic hike in prices and his failure to provide a budget to Tehran’s subway system.
He was accused of speeding up implementation of an austerity plan to slash energy and food subsidies, raising prices for the middle class and the poor.
Not only did he defy the legislature but he mocked it:
Instead of directly replying to the question, Ahmadinejad simply said he supports Iran’s “history” and doesn’t regret doing so.
Ahmadinejad repeatedly claimed he wants to share “jokes” with the lawmakers.
“Here is not a place to share jokes. This is the parliament. The president has no right to insult the legislature,” lawmaker Mohammad Reza Khabbaz told the chamber angrily.
According to witnesses his ending was the nastiest display.
“It was not a very difficult quiz,” he said of the questioners. “To me, those who designed the questions were from among those who got a master’s degree by just pushing a button. If you had consulted us, better questions could have been drawn up,” he said.
The president said he must be given a top score on the “quiz.” ”Be fair. Give a good grade. Any grade of less than 20 (perfect) will be rude,” he said.
Many lawmakers angrily denounced Ahmadinejad’s performance, saying he insulted the elected parliament instead of responding to questions politely.
“The president’s language was insulting during his entire speech. He escaped answering the questions. As predicted, we didn’t receive any logical answer from the president,” lawmaker Mostafa Reza Hosseini said.
“The parliament is now very much against the president. He didn’t respect the house,” parliamentarian Ghodratollah Ali Khani said. “Hopefully, the next step is Ahmadinejad’s impeachment.”
What it really sounds like is the next step will be bloodshed. A power struggle between the Supreme Leader/ Parliament and the President will not be pretty. In the end the biggest losers will be the Iranian people.
For those of you wondering what a power struggle in the Iranian government will mean to the nuke plan there is a simple answer–Nothing! Iran’s nuclear program preceded Ahmadinejad, and the race to the bomb will continue.
BTW there is no truth to the rumor that President Obama will call the Iranian Parliament to apologize for the actions of their President. After all the Iranian government seeks to control society and the economy…another similarity between their country and ours.